By Umar Bayo Abdulwahab Ilorin–
Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has stated that no fewer than 184 persons died from an outbreak of cholera in eight states across the country, this year.
Surveillance Focal Person of NCDC, Nanpring Williams, said this at the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector Meeting, organised by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in Abuja on Tuesday She said the affected states were Zamfara, Kwara, Borno, Lagos, Oyo, Kebbi, Kaduna and Kano.
Ms. Williams said that the National Cholera Situation Report indicated that there were 8,241 suspected cases of the disease in parts of the country.
She said the Centre was executing the pilot phase of administering Oral Cholera Vaccine in Muna Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp and the entire Mafa Local Government Area in Borno, reaching no fewer than 34,815 persons.
She said the Centre was also conducting active surveillance and laboratory diagnosis, effective coordination and case-by-case management of cholera.
Ms. Williams said there were cases of water contamination in Kebbi through open defecation, adding that deliberate eff orts were needed from all stakeholders to promote access to water and sanitation.
She, however, bemoaned the lack of coordination between the state ministries of health and the rural water supply and sanitation agencies, saying that the deficiency had been a major challenge to efforts to strengthen WASH activities in the country.
Deputy Director, WASH Response and Collaboration with Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Baba Galadima, underscored the need for effective collaboration among all stakeholders in order to reduce cholera outbreaks in parts of the country.
He said the emergency response, an off shoot of the 2014 fl oods, was involved in the provision of emergency responses to displaced persons.
He added that the Boko Haram insurgency also induced some humanitarian crises and the need to provide emergency aid to IDPs in the North-east.
Galadima said the ministry would sustain activities to promote hygiene practices, in collaboration with the state water supply agencies, by placing tangible emphasis on Community-Led Total Sanitation processes.
He said that promoting hygiene practices in the country required the collective eff orts of all citizens, saying that the federal government and development partners could not handle it alone.