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NCDC: Cholera death toll now 816
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Monday said medical interventions would not stop the outbreak of Cholera in the country.
This is just as it put the current death toll at 816.
This was contained in a statement by the centre’s Director General, Chikwe Ihekweazu, and titled ‘Cholera in Nigeria: Urgent call to strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene.’
According to the statement, the NCDC is working with other agencies and partners to ensure that the spread of the disease is adequately curtailed.
The statement partly read, “The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is leading the national response to an outbreak of cholera across states in Nigeria. This has been exacerbated by poor access to clean water, open defecation, poor sanitation, and hygiene.
“Between January 1 and August 1, 2021, 31,425 suspected cases of cholera, 311 confirmed cases and 816 deaths have been reported from 22 states and FCT.
“The affected states are Benue, Delta, Zamfara, Gombe, Bayelsa, Kogi, Sokoto, Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Kebbi, Cross River, Niger, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Yobe, Kwara, Enugu, Adamawa, Katsina, Borno and FCT.
“Following an increase in the number of cholera cases, the National Cholera Emergency Operations Centre was activated on the 22nd of June 2021. The EOC which is hosted at NCDC, includes representation from the Federal Ministries of Environment and Water Resources, National Primary Health Care Development Agency World Health Organisation and partners.
“A reactive oral cholera vaccine campaign led by NPHCDA was conducted in Bauchi LGA, Bauchi State from 24th to 28th July 2021.
“But none of these medical interventions will solve the underlying issues leading to cholera outbreaks.”
Iheakweazu explained that since Cholera is a waterborne disease, the risk of transmission is higher when there is poor sanitation and disruption of clean water supply.
He added that wrong disposal of refuse and practices such as open defecation endanger the safety of water used for drinking and personal use.
Such situation, he explained, leads to the spread of water-borne diseases such as cholera.
He warned that without proper water, sanitation and hygiene, Nigeria remains at risk of cholera cases and deaths.
The NCDC boss added, “The long-term solution for cholera control lies in access to safe drinking water, maintenance of proper sanitation and hygiene.
“We continue to advocate to state governments to prioritise action for solutions that ensure access to and use of safe water, basic sanitation and good hygiene practices in communities.
“Additionally, we urge Nigerians to keep their environments clean, only drink or use water that is boiled and stored safely, ensure food is cooked and stored in a clean and safe environment, avoid open defecation and wash their hands regularly with soap and running water.
“Cholera is preventable and treatable; however, it can be deadly when people who are infected do not access care immediately. Nigerians are advised to visit a health facility immediately, if they have sudden onset of profuse watery diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, and weakness.
“As the NCDC continues to work with partners to lead the health-sector response to cholera outbreaks, we call for an urgent improvement in access to clean water, proper sanitation and hygiene.”
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