Akwa-Ibom - The Akwa Ibom Government has said that no fewer than 2 504 households were adversely affected in 2012 flood disaster in the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Bassey Antai, revealed this to newsmen in Uyo on Thursday after meeting with the Federal Government Task Force on Flood Disaster Intervention.
Antai, who said that he was only speaking on the health sector aspect of the disaster, said that the flood wrecked havoc in three local governments - Itu, Oruk-Anam and Uyo. ``We did not record any mortality, this state is a prayerful state, the flood was not as bad as experienced in other states,” Antai said.
He said that a total of five primary health centres and one general hospital, the Mary Slessor Hospital at Itu, were affected by the flood. According to him, the affected areas are completely submerged, health officers and patients cannot access the facilities.
``Though we didn’t have organised camp, we moved people into churches and schools.There was over-population, nutrition was compromised and this led to health problem.’’
He said that during this period increasing cases of malaria, diarrhea and upper respiratory infections were recorded. Antai said that though the actual amount of money spent to cushion the effect of the flood could not be ascertained immediately, a lot of medications and food items were sent out to the victims. ``We even asked for help from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and it responded by giving us some drugs.’’
Dr David Atuwo, the leader of the Task Force team for South South zone, said that the team was on a fact-finding mission to Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers and Cross River to identify injuries, morbidity and mortality as a result of the flood. Atuwo, who is also a principal medical officer, Federal Ministry of Health, said that the team had the mandate to assess post-flood effect on the communities and the level of preparation to address post-flood challenges.
He later told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that a few place visited by the team had revealed that Akwa Ibom was ``spared the full brunt of the flood. ``We have gone round Uyo and its environs, we didn’t really go to the hinterland because of the constraint of time.
``There are still some displacements and if you saw the photographs distributed by the Health Commissioner, you would agree with me that lives were touched,” Atuwo said.
He assured that all the data collected on the impact of the flood would be communicated to the Minister of Health for necessary action.