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Cholera afflicts 31,425, kills 816 in 22 states, FCT

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No fewer than 816 Nigerians from 22 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been claimed by the raging cholera outbreak in the country.

Latest figures released on Monday by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed that between January 1 and August 1 this year, 31,425 suspected cases, 311 infections and 816 deaths were recorded.

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 Abuja.

The centre, in a statement by its Director General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, stated: “This (situation) has been exacerbated by poor access to clean water, open defecation, poor sanitation, and hygiene. Without proper water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), Nigeria remains at risk of cholera cases and deaths.”

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Ihekweazu said following increase in infections, the National Cholera Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was activated on June 22, 2021.

The epidemiologist added that the EOC, domiciled at the NCDC, includes representation from the Federal Ministries of Environment and Water Resources, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), World Health Organisation (WHO) and partners.

Ihekweazu said the EOC had deployed rapid response teams to most of the affected states, adding that the NCDC and its partners had empowered states with case management, as well as laboratory diagnosis, materials for risk communications and response guidelines.

The NCDC boss said a reactive oral cholera vaccine (OCV) campaign, led by the NPHCDA, was conducted in Bauchi Local Council from July 24 to 28 this year. He, however, held that none of the medical interventions would solve the underlying issues of the disease.

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On the way forward, Ihekweazu urged Nigerians to keep their environments clean, drink clean water, eat well-cooked food, stop open defecation and wash their hands regularly with soap and running water.

Confirming that 75 persons, including women and children, died of the ailment in all of Katsina’s 24 local councils at a press briefing yesterday, the Commissioner for Health, Yakubu Nuhu Danja, added that the North West state recorded 1,532 cases, with Funtua posting the highest fatality figure of 384 persons.

In Gombe, the bug killed four of the 48 confirmed cases.The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Habu Dahiru, made the disclosure at a news conference yesterday in the capital.

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