Spread the love

Faith Nyasuguta 

Nigeria has reported some 3,804 deaths caused by cholera and Lassa fever in 2021 alone.

For cholera alone, the West African nation recorded 3,604 deaths and 111,062 cases in 2021 alongside 200 deaths from Lassa fever this January despite increased efforts to boost health and sanitation.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), only three states namely Anambra, Edo and Imo states had not reported any cholera cases, out of the nation’s 36 states. 

The numbers were publicised during the launch of NCDC’s 52nd epidemiological and last report for 2021 in Abuja.

It was further revealed that 33 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were ravaged by cholera. 

A clean environment is key in the fight against cholera /Courtesy/

According to the NCDC, minors aged between five and fourteen years are the most affected.

A breakdown showed that the cases were reported as follows in different states: Bauchi (19,558), Jigawa (15,141), Kano (12,116), and Zamfara (11,931), accounting for 53 per cent of all cumulative cases. 

Part of the challenges encountered by the centre include difficulty in accessing some communities due to security concerns, open defecation in affected communities, lack of potable drinking water in some rural areas and urban slums.

Other challenges include inadequate vaccines to cover all Local Government Areas (LGAs), wards and settlements with cholera outbreaks, inadequate health facility infrastructure, and cholera commodities for management of patients, inadequate trained personnel in states for case management, and poor and inconsistent reporting from states. 

The agency vowed to “develop state level preparedness and response plans and maintain communication with and support to states for data reporting and response.”

“The centre will also develop and submit cholera vaccination request to the International Coordinating Group and the Global Task Force for Cholera Control for reactive and preventive cholera campaign with the NPHCDA, continue advocacy to state governments to increase funding in WASH infrastructure and pre-position response commodities across states,” it said.

Adding, “It will build capacity for sample collection, transportation and laboratory diagnosis; planned after action review, planned review of the National Strategic Plan of Action on Cholera Control and scale up risk communications.” 

NCDC called on Nigerians to boost hygiene in a bid to eradicate such diseases as cholera. 

Nigeria lacks potable water in some rural areas and urban slums /Courtesy/

Hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of infectious diseases like Lassa fever, Covid-19 and Cholera. “

“We encourage the practice of regular hand hygiene to stay healthy,” it advised. 

Cholera is a waterborne disease whose risk of transmission is higher when there is poor sanitation and disruption of clean water supply. 

NCDC also confirmed 200 deaths from Lassa fever in the country in 2022. 

This is according to the NCDC’s epidemiological report for January 3 to January 9 published on the agency’s website. 

According to the update, the new cases were confirmed in 10 states and 22 local government areas in Nigeria. 

About Author

Faith Nyasuguta