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WHO tackles cholera in Adamawa, measles in Borno

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has yesterday deployed 39 health personnel to contain further spread of cholera in Adamawa state that claimed 13 lives in two council areas.

The deployment was announced Tuesday; by WHO representative to Nigeria, Dr. Wondimagegnehu Alemu in a statement released in Maiduguri.

He said the urgent deployment, was in preparation to engage 15 additional ad-hoc personnel to Mubi North and South Local Government Areas of Adamawa state.

Also, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has commenced “measles interruption transmission” to 200, 000 children in Borno state by providing technical and financial support to health authorities.

The support was also to boost immunity of children against measles disease in newly accessible areas liberated by the military.

Meanwhile, Alemu said the implementation of selective measles vaccination campaign, are to be conducted in nine Local Government Areas of Borno state.

Alemu in the statement said: “We have swiftly deployed technical staff to coordinate partners’ response to the current outbreak, support case management, surveillance and contact tracing of suspected cases to guide interventions.

“This is to ensure that the outbreak does not spread to other neighbouring council areas of Adamawa, including the Cameroonian border areas of Sahuda.”
According to him, On May 26, 2018, 434 suspected cases were reported with13 deaths in the affected council areas.

He said this prompted the health authority to activate an Emergency Operations Centre for concerted response and rapid decision-making. Alemu also lamented the transmission rate of the ongoing cholera outbreak in the state.

“This is very worrisome and it has to be stopped to save people’s lives, as the rainy season commences,” he said.

He continued: “We’re leveraging on our past experience and the lessons learnt in controlling major cholera outbreaks in internally displaced persons camps and host communities, especially in Borno and Yobe states.”

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Fatima Atiku Abubakar said that the health authority is collaborating with WHO and other partners to ensure that the outbreak does not spread to other council areas of the state.

“We have activated all the relevant sectors including WASH, designated a cholera treatment centre at General Hospital in Mubi North LGA and activated an Emergency Operations Centre to rapidly interrupt the transmission,” assured the commissioner.

According to her, the trend of case fatality ratio has reduced to three per cent as on May 12, 2018 in two weeks.

Other activities ongoing to bring the outbreak under control include house-to-house sensitization by mothers in host communities.

She said traditional and religious leaders have also been sensitized while media announcements are underway to ensure people in the communities are aware of the risk of cholera, how it spreads and how to prevent it.

Alemu noted that more efforts are needed and urgently too, as the incidence rate soars daily to avoid spread to other parts of the state.

“The four-day exercise targets more than 200 000 children aged six months – 15 years recently accessed locations across nine local government areas (LGAs) of the state,” said Alemu in the statement.

According to him, the targeted councils are Magumeri, Nganzai and Damboa where suspected outbreaks of measles were reported in April 2018.


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