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Cholera: FG activates emergency centre as disease kills 53, cases rise to 1,528

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has activated the National Cholera Multi-Sectoral Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in response to the escalating cholera…

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has activated the National Cholera Multi-Sectoral Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in response to the escalating cholera outbreak in the country.

During a briefing in Abuja on Monday, Director General of NCDC, Dr Jide Idris, announced that as of June 24, there have been 1,528 suspected cholera cases and 53 deaths across 31 states and 107 local government areas, with a case fatality rate of 3.5% since the beginning of the year.

“These fatalities represent significant losses, impacting families, communities, and our healthcare workforce. The situation may worsen as the rainy season progresses,” Dr Idris said.

He said a recent dynamic risk assessment by experts from various ministries, departments, agencies, and partners classified Nigeria as being at “high risk” for increased cholera transmission and impact, necessitating the activation of the National Cholera Multi-Sectoral Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

Idris emphasised that the EOC’s activation underscores the severity of the outbreak and the commitment to protecting public health.

He said the EOC will coordinate response efforts nationwide, support affected states, facilitate rapid communication and decision-making, and mobilise resources and expertise.

Cholera is a food and water-borne disease caused by ingesting Vibrio Cholerae from contaminated sources. Contamination can occur at the water source, during transportation, or at home, and food can be contaminated by soiled hands or during preparation.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Environment has advised Nigerians to avoid locally made drinks such as kunu, zobo, and fura to prevent cholera.

Minister of State for Environment Iziaq Salako, in a statement on Monday, urged proper waste disposal and environmental cleanliness.

He also called on state and local governments to increase health surveillance in food and drink markets, garages, schools, restaurants, and event venues.

Lagos death toll reaches 29

The Lagos State government confirmed five additional cholera deaths, bringing the total fatalities to 29, with 579 cases recorded since the outbreak began two weeks ago.

Health commissioner Prof. Akin Abayomi, during a press briefing on Monday in Lagos, attributed the deaths to late hospital presentations.

“For the past two weeks, we have recorded 29 deaths and 579 suspected cholera cases. The 29 deaths were due to late presentations,” Abayomi said.


Ogun carriers consumed tiger nut in Lagos – Commissioner

Ogun State health commissioner Dr Tomi Coker has reported 25 suspected cholera cases, with nine confirmed and one death.

At a press conference in Abeokuta, Dr Coker said eight cases originated from Lagos, where the carriers consumed tiger nut drinks.

She said, “The initial eight cases had travel history to Lagos and six reported consuming tiger nut drink while in Lagos.”

Dr Coker added that Ogun State’s Epidemiology Unit and local Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers are on high alert, intensifying surveillance across all 20 council areas.


Suspected cases in Bauchi

Daily Trust gathered that suspected cholera cases have emerged in about seven LGAs in Bauchi State, including Itas Gadau, Ningi, Bauchi, Toro, Ganjuwa, Darazo, and Alkaleri.

However, Bauchi State Commissioner of Health, Dr Adamu Sambo, has stated that the state has not confirmed any cholera cases in 2024.

“So far, we have not had any confirmed cases in 2024. We are working with all relevant agencies to prevent an outbreak,” he said in a telephone interview.

He emphasised that the few suspected cases reported were not cholera, adding that the state is focused on maintaining control measures and educating the public about personal hygiene, environmental sanitation, and water hygiene.

Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, Executive Chairman of the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (BASPHCDA), noted that in January 2024, there were 30 suspected cases from Itas/Gadau LGA, and in March, three suspected cases in Ningi LGA-all of which tested negative.

“Since we have had suspected cases, we are on the NCDC’s vigilance list,” he explained.


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