Victims of cholera in a Nigerian hospital

Victims of cholera in a Nigerian hospital

By Abujah Racheal/Abuja

Six states in Northern Nigeria reported 3,541 cases of cholera in the last two weeks, 13 June to 26 June, with 325 dead in six months.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), gave the figures in Abuja on Saturday.

Most affected is Bauchi state, which has recorded 2,139 cases, about one-seventh of the 14,343 cases posted from January to June.

Kano, the most populous state in the north is the second worst affected state. It logged 937 cases in the last two weeks.

Other states with cholera cases in the last two weeks are Zamfara with 169 cases and Kaduna with 129.

Niger reported 62 cases and Plateau nine.

NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu said the 14, 343 cases reported from January to June came from 15 states and the FCT.

The affected states are Benue, Delta, Zamfara, Gombe, Bayelsa, Kogi, Sokoto, Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Kebbi, Cross-River, Nasarawa, Niger.

NCDC’s Situation Report on cholera indicates that 27.6 per cent of victims across the country are those in the five years to 14 years bracket.

The report also indicates that 51 per cent of the suspected cases and male, while 49 per cent are female.

Ihekweazu also told NAN that a multi-sectorial national Emergency Operations Centre coordinates the cholera national response activities.

“The EOC is co-led by the Federal Ministry of Environment and that of Water Resources given the link between cholera, water, sanitation and hygiene.

“The centre has been supporting states to ensure a coordinated, rapid and effective response to the current outbreak.

“This includes the deployment of National Rapid Response Teams to support the response at the state level, provision of medical and laboratory supplies, and scale-up of risk communications amongst other activities,’’ he explained.

Ihekweazu said that the NCDC would continue to support states to intensify their cholera outbreak responses, noting that the risk of death from cholera was higher when treatment was delayed.

He advised Nigerians to boil and store water in clean and safe containers before drinking. And to wash their hands frequently with soap under clean running water to prevent infectious diseases like cholera.

“This is especially important after defecation and before handling food or eating,’’ he stressed.

Cholera is a preventable and treatable epidemic-prone disease transmitted by eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Incidence of cholera tends to increase during the rainy season.