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    Friday, June 14, 2024

    Cholera Outbreak Kills 30 Amid Improper Waste Management In Nigeria



    Nigeria has recorded 65 confirmed cases of Cholera with 30 deaths from 1 January to 11 June across 96 local governments in 30 states, says the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC).

    NCDC revealed this in a public health advisory published Thursday to alert the public of the increasing trend of cholera cases across the country as the rainy season intensifies.

    This follows a reported outbreak in Lagos State which resulted in about 60 hospital admissions and five deaths in 48 hours.

    According to the NCDC, a total of 1,141 suspected cases have been recorded in 2024. Ten states contributed 90 per cent of the total number.

    The states are Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo, Nasarawa and Lagos.

    Cholera is a highly contagious food and water-borne disease. It spreads through direct transmission by eating or drinking contaminated food or water, and indirect transmission due to poor sanitation and lack of handwashing.

    Symptoms of cholera include acute, painless watery diarrhoea of sudden onset, with or without vomiting. It may be associated with nausea, profuse vomiting and fever.

    According to the NCDC, severe cases can lead to death within hours due to dehydration, however, about 80 per cent of people may only show mild symptoms or have no symptoms at all.

    NCDC noted that the disease is easily treatable if detected early and most infected people can be treated successfully through prompt administration of oral rehydration solution (ORS), to replace lost fluids and electrolytes, and appropriate antibiotics.

    Prevention

    NCDC further noted that cholera can be prevented by ensuring access to safe, potable drinking water; proper sanitation and waste disposal; and appropriate hygiene including handwashing.

    It noted that raw fruits and vegetables, food from street vendors, and raw or undercooked seafood should be avoided.

    To reduce the risk of cholera, the NCDC advised the public to “ensure that water is boiled and stored in a clean and covered container before drinking, practice good personal hand hygiene by washing your hands frequently with soap under clean running water.

    “Use alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap and clean water are not available. Ensure that food is well cooked before consumption. Only consume raw food such as fruits and vegetables, after washing thoroughly with safe water.”

    It also advised against open defecation and indiscriminate refuse dumping. It urged residents to ensure proper waste disposal and frequent clearing of sewage.

    “If you or anyone you know experiences sudden watery diarrhoea, please do not self medicate, visit a healthcare facility immediately,” it noted.

    NCDC also advised health workers to always practise standard safety precautions, which include wearing gloves while handling patients or providing care to an ill patient/relative.

    Government intervention

    Leading a multi-sectoral National Cholera Technical Working Group, NCDC said it has been providing support to the affected states.

    NCDC noted that “this support includes risk communication, active case search, laboratory diagnosis, case management, provision of response commodities, water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions, and dissemination of Cholera awareness jingles in both English and local languages.”

    The technical working group comprises the Federal Ministries of Environment and Water Resources, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and other partners.

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