There have been reports of an outbreak of a disease suspected to be Schistosomiasis in Irelejare community in Ondo State. No fewer than five children are said to have been infected with the disease in Irele Local Government Area of the state.
According to some residents of the community – Omosehin Omopintemi and Akinbiola Oyedele, the effect of the disease is already manifesting in the victims who have been urinating blood. They blamed the incident on the unavailability of drinkable water, saying the situation has exposed the community to some communicable diseases. The Head of Irelejare community, Omokaraba Monebi, appealed to the state government to urgently come to the rescue of the people. At the time of this report, the state government has yet to confirm the incident as the Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro, could not be reached to get his reaction.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Schistosomiasis is an acute and chronic disease caused by parasitic worms and victims get infected during routine agricultural and domestic activities among others, which expose them to infested water.In a report published in April 2019, WHO said lack of hygiene and certain play habits of school-aged children, including swimming and fishing in infested water make them vulnerable to infection. The disease, it noted, can be controlled through periodic and large-scale population treatment with praziquantel.
The organisation added that a more comprehensive approach such as the provision of potable water, adequate sanitation, and snail control would go a long way in reducing transmission of the disease. Reports revealed that no fewer than 220.8 million people required preventive treatment for the disease in 2017, although over 102.3 million people have been reportedly treated.