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NCDC declares cholera crisis, sets up emergency measures

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) on Tuesday activated a national cholera emergency centre, following the outbreak of the disease in the country.

It also said 53 deaths and 1,528 suspected cholera cases were recorded across 31 states and 107 local government areas, with a case fatality rate of 3.5 per cent since the beginning of 2024.

This is even as Lagos State government disclosed that the cholera death toll had risen to 29 from the previously reported 24 last week, adding that the total number of suspected cases had risen to 579.

NCDC’s Director-General, Dr. Jide Idris, who spoke in an update on the cholera epidemiological situation in Nigeria yesterday, expressed fears that the situation might be compounded as the rainy season intensifies.

As part of ongoing prevention and response efforts at the national and sub-national levels, Idris assured that a National Cholera Emergency Operation Centre has been activated.

“Cholera, a highly contagious food and water-borne disease, has in the recent past reared its devastating head in several states across our country. It is caused by the ingestion of the bacterium, Vibrio cholerae in contaminated water and food.

“As of 24th June 2024, 1,528 suspected cases and 53 deaths have been recorded across 31 states and 107 local government areas with a case fatality rate of 3.5 per cent since the beginning of the year.

“These fatalities are not just statistics but a significant loss of a loved family member, a spouse, a parent, and often a seasoned healthcare worker and team member. This situation may be compounded as the rainy season intensifies”, Idris said.

He expressed regrets that the country is facing another public health emergency as it was just coming out of the Lassa fever and meningitis outbreaks.

Idris further said: “In response to the rapidly increasing cholera cases, a dynamic risk assessment was conducted by subject matter experts on cholera outbreak situation in Nigeria last week.

“The subject matter experts were drawn from relevant ministries (health, environment, agriculture, water resources etc.), departments, agencies, stakeholders, and major partners.

“The outcome of the risk assessment placed the country at ‘high risk’ of cholera transmission and impact. This demands our immediate and coordinated actions and, therefore, necessitated the activation of the National Cholera Multi-Sectoral Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Nigeria today.

“The decision to activate the Cholera Emergency Operation Centre underscores the gravity of the situation and our unwavering commitment to protect the health and well-being of every Nigerian..

He described the Emergency Operation Centre as the central hub for coordinating the nationwide response, noting that it would support affected states, speed up communication and data analysis, and help with decision-making.

 

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