Cholera spreads to 107 LGAs, 31 states

The federal government has urged states and local governments to scale up environmental health surveillance in places where food and drinks are sold nationwide.

These places include markets, garages, schools, restaurants, stadia, religious and sporting events venues.

Minister of State for Environment, Dr Iziaq Salako, gave the directive in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

Salako emphasised that the measures would help avert further spread and transmission of cholera, as well as aid in the prevention and control of the disease.

He also urged all commissioners for environment and the local government Chairpersons to support environmental health officers across the country to step up sanitation and hygiene activities through enhanced community-led total sanitation.

According to him, it is also to strengthen collaboration with the health authorities and other stakeholders in line with the one health approach of the federal government.

The minister said that arrangements had been made to support most affected states with chlorine solution or tablets, water and food testing resources to avert further transmission across the country.

Salako noted that recent situation report from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) indicated a total number of 1,159 suspected cases, 65 confirmed cases and 30 deaths across 30 States.

He identified the most affected states contributing 90 per cent of the total cases to include Bayelsa, Lagos, Zamfara, Abia, Bauchi, Cross River, Ebonyi, Delta and Katsina.

“The ministry has been actively involved through the Department of Pollution Control and Environmental Health Council of Nigeria (EHCON) in activities to curtail further transmission of the deadly disease.

“The ministry has been involved through water and food testing to identified sources of infection, environmental sanitation campaigns and household water chlorination,” he said.

 “The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed the global resurgence of cases of cholera classifying the current outbreak as “grade three public health emergency”, requiring maximal WHO system wide response.

“Nigeria is one of the 14 countries in Africa where the resurgence is being experienced,” he said.

Meanwhile, the outbreak has claimed 53 lives as of Monday,  according to the Director General (DG) of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), Jide Idris.

During a press briefing, Idris reported that the 53 deaths stemmed from 1,528 suspected cases across 107 local government areas in 31 states.

He noted that the case fatality rate of 3.5% since the beginning of the year has placed Nigeria at a high-risk level (Level 3).

The National Cholera Multi-Sectoral Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has, therefore, been activated to ensure immediate and coordinated actions from the agency to address the situation.