June 24, 2024

Cholera: 1528 suspected cases, 53 deaths recorded – NCDC


activates Nat’l Cholera Emergency Operation Centre

By Joseph Erunke, ABUJA

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, NCDC, says 53 deaths and 1,528 suspected cases cholera have been recorded across 31 states and 107 local government areas with a case fatality rate of 3.5% since the beginning of this year.

Director General of NCDC, Dr Jide Idris, disclosed this, Monday, while providing an update on the cholera epidemiological situation in Nigeria and ongoing prevention and response efforts at the national and subnational levels.

He expressed fears that the situation may be compounded as the rainy season intensifies.

To this effect, the nation’s disease response agency’s boss said a National Cholera Emergency Operation Centre has been activated.

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

“As of 24” June 2024, 1528 suspected cases and 53 deaths have been recorded across 31 States and 107 local government areas with a case fatality rate of 3.5% 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 be compounded as the rainy season intensifies,” Idris said.

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

He explained that, “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 increased 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 said.

According to him, “The Emergency Operation Centre will serve as the nerve center for the coordination of response across the country, it will also support affected states, facilitate rapid communication, data analysis, and decision-making processes, mobilize resources, expertise, and support from across the NCDC, our partners, and stakeholders at all levels of government.”

” It will ensure efficient deployment of needed resources, strengthen surveillance and diagnostic capacity and capabilities, enhance case management, training and intensify public awareness and community engagement activities.

“To effectively do this, an Incident Manager has also been appointed, who will coordinate the day-to-day activities involving several pillars such as Surveillance (data collection, analysis and dissemination), Case Management, oral Cholera Vaccine Issues, Coordination, Infection Prevention & Control (IPC), Logistics support, and Research.”

He explained that, “Prior to the activation of EOC, the NCDC, through the National Cholera Technical Working Group had carried out the following prevention and response efforts prepositioning and distribution of medical supplies for case management, infection prevention, and control, laboratory diagnosis, among others to all 36 plus one states.”

He sympathized with the families and friends who have lost their loved ones to the outbreak just as he acknowledged the efforts of all stakeholders including ministries departments and Agencies, State and Local Governments, local and international partners, healthcare workers, community leaders, and individuals that have worked hard in responding to these outbreak.”

The NCDC boss called on all stakeholders-government agencies, subnational level actors, partners, civil society organization, healthcare professionals, community leaders, and every citizen, to stem the tide of the outbreak and redouble their efforts to contain the spread and prevent further loss of lives. –