The Nigeria Centre for Disease (NCDC) has activated a multi-sectoral National Cholera Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), following an increase in cholera cases across the country.
A statement by the Director General of the NCDC Dr. Chikwe Iheakweazu said the EOC will be co-led with the Federal Ministries of Environment and Water Resources, given the link between cholera and water, sanitation and hygiene”.
It said the National EOC has been supporting states to ensure a coordinated, rapid and effective response to the ongoing outbreak which he said includes the deployment of National Rapid Response Teams (RRT) to support the response at state level, provision of medical and laboratory supplies, scale up of risk communications amongst other activities.
Additionally, the NCDC said the resources that have been developed as part of Nigeria’s COVID-19 response are also being used to strengthen the response to the cholera outbreak”.
“This includes the digitalization of the national surveillance system, establishment of laboratories and treatment centres, training of health workers among others” it said.
The agency says since the beginning of 2021, 10,833 suspected cholera cases have been reported with 112 confirmed cases and 289 deaths.
According to the statement an increasing number of cholera cases has been reported across states in the last one month adding that the most affected states are Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Zamfara, Bayelsa and Kaduna.
The agency further said the risk of death from cholera is higher, when treatment is delayed noting that it is very important to visit a health facility if you have symptoms such as watery diarrhea and vomiting.
It also said Cholera is a preventable and treatable epidemic -prone disease which is transmitted by eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
It said the number of cholera cases tends to increase with the onset of the rainy season while urging members of the public to be aware of the risk of the disease and adhere to the necessary precautionary measures to ensure safety which includes; Boiling and storing water in a clean and safe container before drinking, Prepare, cook and store food safely.
Others are washing of hands frequently with soap under clean running water.
As the NCDC continues to advocate for improved access to clean water, proper sanitation and hygiene it noted that it is a critical measure to prevent cholera cases and outbreaks.
It has therefore urge State Governments to continue to provide access to clean water for its citizens.