Zamfara, 3 others, highest cholera cases in Nigeria- NCDC

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By Tosin Kolade

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has listed Zamfara, Cross River, Adamawa and Ogun as states with the highest cholera cases in the country.

NCDC’s Incident Manager, Cholera Technical Working Group, Dr Sebastian Yennan, said this at the monthly meeting of the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Emergency Working Group on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, the cases are updates from the centre’s Epidemiology week 39, saying efforts were ongoing in providing response commodities to affected states and in the country.

Yennan said NCDC’s intervention through cholera case management was carried out in partnership with the WHO by distributing infection prevention and control kits, WASH kits, chlorine powder among others.

This intervention, he noted was being prioritised in the four states, saying the kits distributed could also be used in emergency situations like the lassa fever and diphtheria outbreaks.

“The NCDC has partnered with a third party logistics company in the distribution of commodities and also to bring samples, our cholera response is at the 36 states and the FCT.

“In Zamfara for instance, the governor visited the cholera treatment centre in Anka local government that was built by Doctors Without Borders/MSF, they have received response commodities”.

He said states must do more to prioritise cholera prevention by ensuring that funds were budgeted early and were accessible, adding that the centre was in charge of administration of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund.

The fund, Yenna said was designed to strengthen the national health system,  calling on states to preposition their needs to access it before, during and after disease outbreak.

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He also urged all stakeholders to strengthen partnerships to promote advocacy towards prevention of health emergency in the country.

Also, Mr Dapo Akingbade, a representative from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said following release of excess water from Lagdo dam in Cameroon, 13 states have experienced flooding.

According to him, 171,545 persons  were displaced in affected states, property and farmlands destroyed, with no fewer than 45 deaths.

Akingbade while giving an update as at October 7, said the agency had commenced assessment of flood situation in Adamawa, with the activation of the emergency operation centre for coordination of interventions.

“The flooding in Adamawa has impacted on a lot of people and communities, at the EOC meeting, we recommended that all states should activate their flood response plan.

“Also, we are also awaiting a detailed Needs Assessment report from Adamawa so as to know the appropriate areas of response”.

The NEMA official said there was need for the WASH sector to be well-prepared, saying collective responsibility was needed to mitigate the impact of emergency situations in the country.

Dr Edwin Isotu-Edeh, National Consultant, Public Health and Environment, WHO Nigeria, said there was need for all partners to level up their investments for the WASH sector.

He said by investing in the WASH sector, cholera cases would reduce, citing an example of Cross river state which had a case fatality rate of 21 per cent, but reduced through investment and the One Health approach.

“WASH in Emergency is beyond the distribution of commodities, but in doing more in the dedication of funding support, if we invest in WASH, cholera cases will come down”.

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Earlier, Mr Ibiyemi Olu-Daniels, a Director, Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, noted the need for states to coordinate, take ownership of their challenges and not rely solely on development partners in emergency situations.

He said the ministry would continue to support states through advocacy and coordination, urging the states to take responsibility on cholera preparedness and response plan. (NAN)

Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi

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