Health

Expert advocates proper personal, environmental hygiene to prevent gastroenteritis

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Dr Kelechi Ozurumba, Medical Director of Our Saviours Hospital, Abakaliki,
advocates proper personal and environmental hygiene to prevent outbreak of gastroenteritis.

He made the call in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Abakaliki, defining gastroenteritis as
inflammation of the stomach and intestines, typically resulting from bacterial toxins or viral infection and causing vomiting
and diarrhoea.

The medical director said that observing common personal and environmental health tips, including regular hand wash, proper
refuse disposal and avoiding open defecation, would safeguard individuals from developing gastroenteritis.

According to him, gastroenteritis can be fatal if proper and urgent medical attention is not given to infected person, as
frequent stooling and vomiting can lead to dehydration and eventual death.

He said “one of the keys to preventing gastroenteritis is to ensure that we maintain proper personal, environmental hygiene and food safety .

“It is a common disease usually contracted when a person comes into contact with items infested with germs that transmit the disease.

“Gastroenteritis, which causes frequent stooling and vomiting can be fatal when an infected person is not given proper and urgent
medical attention by qualified personnel at a recognised medical or health institution.

“Regular washing of hands, proper refuse disposal, avoiding open defecation and maintaining safe environment are some of the
measures we can adopt to avoid outbreak and spread of the disease.”

Ozurumba added that drinking water from unwholesome sources and improper cooking of vegetables and other food items could also
cause the disease.

He warned that suspected cases should promptly be reported to health authorities to check spread.

He noted that “government should sensitise the public on the dangers of the disease and the need for citizens to maintain regular
and proper personal and environmental hygiene.

“Any suspected case should be immediately reported to approved medical institution for quick diagnosis and treatment.”
ODO/HA

Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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