By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – The United Nations, UN, through the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund, has allocated $2m to support the response to a deadly cholera outbreak in Yobe State that has the potential to affect thousands of people.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, which was officially declared in four local government areas on 28 March, a total of 404 cases and 15 deaths have been reported, representing a 3.7 per cent case fatality rate.
The United Nations and its partners activated an immediate emergency response in the affected communities in support of the State Ministry of Health.
However, additional resources are needed to ensure that the outbreak is contained, especially ahead of the rainy season when the risk of outbreaks and spreading of water-borne diseases is higher.
The funds will enable humanitarian partners to provide safe water to over 1.6 million people, improve sanitation for thousands in the affected communities, and boost the technical and human resource capacity in hotspot areas so that cholera can be detected early and treated promptly.
Raising awareness of how to identify, prevent and treat cholera is also a key part of the response to the outbreak.
In a statement on Friday, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon: said: “Cholera outbreaks can potentially impact and kill thousands of people, especially women, children and men who are living in overcrowded places such as camps for internally displaced persons.
“Surveillance and early detection are key to limiting the number of fatalities and the spread of the outbreak.
“Acting swiftly is pivotal if we are to prevent high mortality rates. These funds will help the UN and partners strengthen the capacity of community health personnel and equip local health facilities with diagnostic and treatment equipment as the rainy season gets underway and access to some of the affected localities might be impacted by flooding,” he added.