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Nigeria Records 30 Cholera Death As Cases Surge

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has issued a warning about the rise in cholera cases in Nigeria as the rainy season gets stronger.

A recent outbreak in Lagos State has heightened concerns.

From January 1st to June 11th, 2024, a total of 1,141 suspected and 65 confirmed cases of cholera, resulting in 30 deaths, have been reported from 96 local government areas (LGAs) in 30 states.

The states most affected, making up 90% of the cases, include Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo, Nasarawa, and Lagos.

To tackle this issue, a multi-sectoral National Cholera Technical Working Group, led by NCDC and involving various government bodies and international organizations, has been set up by the Federal Government.

The group is tasked with raising awareness, actively searching for cases, conducting laboratory tests, managing cases, providing necessary supplies, and implementing water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions.

Cholera is a disease spread through contaminated food and water, caused by a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae. It’s particularly risky in areas with poor sanitation and limited access to clean water.

Symptoms include severe diarrhoea, vomiting, and dehydration, which can lead to death if not treated promptly.

The Monthly Epidemiological Report 5 for the period of Epidemiological Week 18 – 22 (29 April 2024 – 2 June 2024) issued by the NCDC on Friday highlighted the need for vigilant monitoring and response efforts.

It says, “While there has been a significant decrease in suspected cases and deaths compared to the previous year, the recent outbreaks and deaths underscore the persistent threat of cholera in certain regions.

“The National Multi-sectoral Cholera Technical Working Group (TWG) continues to monitor response efforts across states, emphasizing the importance of ongoing surveillance, early detection, and effective response strategies.”

Its key findings include:

  • Total Cases: As of 2nd June 2024, Nigeria has reported a total of 882 suspected cholera cases, including 16 deaths, representing a Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 1.9%.
  • Affected Regions: Cholera cases have been reported from 30 states across the country. Bayelsa State accounts for a significant portion, with 442 cases, while Southern Ijaw LGA in Bayelsa State alone reports 146 cases.
  • Demographics: Children under 5 years of age are predominantly affected, followed by the age group of 5 – 14 years. Males and females are equally affected, with a distribution of 49% and 51% respectively.
  • Recent Cases: During the reporting month, 27 suspected cases of cholera were reported, with 2 deaths recorded. Notably, two states, Katsina and Kwara, reported cases within Epidemiological week 22.
  • Testing and Monitoring: Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) and stool culture tests were conducted during the reporting period, with no positive results for RDT and stool culture tests.

Prevention measures recommended by NCDC include boiling and storing water properly, practising good hygiene such as frequent handwashing, ensuring food is well-cooked, avoiding open defecation, and seeking medical help if diarrhoea occurs.

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