December 19, 2023

Panic as NCDC alerts Sokoto residents on dengue fever, commissioner reacts


By Musa Ubandawaki, Sokoto

Following the confirmation of the dengue fever outbreak in Sokoto State by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), residents of Sokoto metropolis, the state capital, are living in grief and fear of the possible spread of the dreaded fever.

The outbreak of dengue fever was first reported in October in Sokoto State, but the NCDC in November 2023 alerted the state of the detection of the disease with 71 suspected cases and 13 confirmed positive but with zero deaths.

According to the NCDC, the outbreak of the disease has been reported in some areas of the state, including Sokoto South local government with 60 cases, Wamako local government with 3 cases, and Dange Shuni local government with 1 recorded case.

The majority of the suspected cases, according to the NCDC, fall between the ages of 21 and 40.

The NCDC-led multisectoral National Emerging Viral Haemorrhagic Diseases Technical Working Group (NEVHD-TWG), collaborating with partners and relevant stakeholders, has conducted a rapid risk assessment to guide in-country preparedness activities.

Reacting to a statement from the NCDC on the alleged outbreak of dengue fever in the state, Hajiya Asabe Balarabe, the state commissioner for health, said the Disease Surveillance Agency was only trying to update its old record on disease surveillance in some parts of the country.

The commissioner further stated that there was never such a case in Sokoto State as of November this year and even now, as alerted by the NCDC.

“When the outbreak of the disease was first reported in the state, experts from the state Ministry of Health quickly swooped into action to curtail its spread.”

“We have invited the press, where we informed the world of the efforts being made by the state to control the spread of the dreaded disease at that crucial time.”

“We have also, at the same time, provided experts and professional advice to citizens on the need to report to the hospital for any unusual symptoms and to ensure adequate usage of treated mosquito nets provided by the state in homes.”

“Sokoto State is safe and free from the alleged dreaded fever, Dengue, as recently alleged and reported by the NCDC.”

“I advised our teeming citizens of the state to go ahead with their normal activities as the alert from the NCDC was found to be an old and updated record release by the disease surveillance and control agency.

“We’re known for our proactiveness when it comes to outbreaks of any sort, not even the dreaded fever, which has since been contained by our medical eexperts,”says Balarabe.