NO fewer than 300 persons have been treated for diarrhoea at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital following the massive heaps of refuse along major streets in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
This is apart from the unaccounted number of other victims that had been treated in other government and private health institutions.
A top source at the UCTH, who would not want his name mentioned, told Southern City News on Sunday that there was likely to be an epidemic in the Calabar metropolis if the situation persisted.
Heaps of refuse has become common sights on the major roads and streets of Calabar as vehicles manage to meander their way in some instances.
Residents of the areas littered with refuse heaps have complained about their unhealthy environment.
Notable among areas where the refuse had been abandoned for over two weeks are Howel Street, Mount Zion Road, Edibe-Edibe Road, White House Street, Uwanse Street, Mbukpa Road, New Airport Road, Amika-Utuk Street in Calabar South and major routes in Eight Miles communities, Old Odukpani Road, and Atimbo axis in the Calabar Municipality.
The UCTH source said victims had been trooping in and out of the hospital for treatment of diseases relating to air pollution caused by the refuse heaps.
He said the situation was worrisome as there might be epidemic in Calabar as a result of the development.
“In the last one month, we have treated not less than 300 patients for diarrhoea. This situation is worrisome because it might lead to epidemic any moment from now.
“Again, bad waste management practices can result in land and air pollution and can cause respiratory problems and other adverse health effects as contaminants are absorbed from the lungs into other parts of the body,” he said.
Motorists plying the Edibe-Edibe Road by Idang Street axis now climb through the refuse in order to continue their journey.
A motorist, Mrs. Uche Obi, simply said, “We have never had it this bad in Calabar. The situation has changed from bad to worse. We are just living as if there is no government in place.”
Another resident of Calabar South, Mr. Kingsley Umoetuk, said the Howel Street axis was badly affected by the effect of the abandoned refuse as neighbours had complained about the health challenges and inability to access their homes in some instances.
“Howel Street is horrible. I am aware it is already causing health challenges especially now that the rain is falling. The road has also become non-motorable.”