Cholera: Nasarawa records 29 suspected cases


Cholera outbreakThe Nasarawa State government has announced a total of 29 suspected cases of cholera in the Kokona and Nasarawa Eggon Local Government Areas of the state.

It, however, said there was no confirmed case of the disease in the state, as it expressed preparedness to tackle it in the case of an outbreak.

Available data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention showed as of June 24, 2024, there were 1,528 suspected cholera cases, 65 confirmed cases and 53 deaths across 107 local government areas in 31 states, reflecting a case fatality rate of 3.5 per cent since the beginning of the year.

The most affected states were Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo, Nasarawa and Lagos.

The Nasarawa State Commissioner for Health, Dr Gaza Gwamna, speaking on Monday at the opening of a three-day workshop on Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health, hosted by the Rotary International in the Akwanga Local Government Area of the state, said in the past few weeks, Kokona LGA and Nasarawa Eggon LGA recorded 19  and 10 suspected cases respectively.

He regretted that one of the suspected patients in the Nasarawa Eggon LGA died during treatment at a healthcare facility in the area.

“We have 19 suspected cases of cholera in Kokona and 10 in Nasarawa Eggon. The one that died in Nasarawa Eggon had diarrhoea and was vomiting, but there was no confirmation that he died of cholera.

“I would want the public to know that cholera has symptoms similar to other ailments. We can only say a person has cholera after some laboratory tests have been done, and it is confirmed,” he said.

The commissioner noted that there was currently no known case of cholera across the state, as he assured of the state government’s preparedness to tackle the disease in case of an outbreak in any part of the state.

The State Epidemiologist, Dr Grace Tsakpa, said the state government was set to distribute cholera commodities to healthcare facilities across the state, to tackle the disease in the case of an outbreak.

Tsakpa narrated that specified healthcare workers across the 13 LGAs had been trained on sample collection and how to administer treatment to cholera patients.

“At the moment, we do not have any case of cholera in Nasarawa State, but I can tell you that we are prepared to tackle it in case there is an outbreak.

“We have sufficient drugs, fluids and antibiotics to manage cholera. But because such cases sometimes can be too much on the available medication we have, we will be happy if partners will support us with more drugs,” she said

Speaking on preparedness for an outbreak, the epidemiologist said, “As I speak now, we are planning how to distribute cholera commodities to the various LGAs to intervene whenever there is an outbreak.

“We have also engaged with relevant stakeholders in various Ministries, Departments and Agencies on how to go about intervention in case we have an outbreak of cholera in the state.”

To avert cholera outbreaks in their states, health authorities in Bauchi, Jigawa and Gombe states have embarked on sensitisation and water chlorination exercises.

The officials of the health agencies told the News Agency of Nigeria in Bauchi,  Dutse and Gombe that they adopted proactive preventive measures to avert cholera, following the nationwide outbreak of the disease.

The officials, however, said no active case of cholera had been reported in the states.

The Waste Manager of Gombe State Environmental Protection Agency, Dr Umar Musa, said the agency distributed chlorine to the 11 local government areas of the state.

“In 2023, the distribution targeted only the hot spots. Presently, we have expanded the areas and increased the quantity from six to 10 drums.

“Chlorination is a proactive measure against gastroenteritis and cholera, which is a waterborne disease

“We took the same measure in 2023 and the result was positive because we have not recorded a single case of cholera,” he said.

According to him, the chlorination was done for open wells, stagnant ponds, and reservoirs, adding that “Aqua tabs” were provided to households who sourced water from the river or stream.

In Jigawa, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Abdullahi Kainuwa, said the state had strengthened disease surveillance and public enlightenment campaigns to avert cholera.

He said the state successfully controlled Cholera, hitherto manifested during the rainy season due to strong commitment by the state government, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and donor partners.

“There is and still no single report of any case of cholera in the state. We embarked on a massive public campaign and awareness on the measures needed to be taken by the communities, especially personal and environmental hygiene,” Kainuwa said.

He, therefore, called on residents to avoid consumption of water from open wells, streams, and obsolete public water facilities.

Similarly; the Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency sensitised communities to the dangers and preventive measures of cholera.

The Executive Secretary of the agency, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, said the state had not recorded any suspected case since the NCDC declared a cholera outbreak in the country.

Mohammed said the agency had engaged stakeholders to create awareness of the disease and developed a preparedness action plan to enhance emergency response.

He also advised the people to maintain a good environment and personal hygiene to improve their health.

In Sokoto State, the government also said there was no cholera case so far in any part of the state.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Alhaji Abubakar Ahmad, on Monday, said the ministry had already taken all the necessary measures for prompt response in case of any eventuality.

He, therefore, urged the people to ensure personal and environmental hygiene, especially during the rainy season.

“Let me call on our people in the state to ensure regular consumption of safe drinkable water. This would help in no small measure in preventing cholera,” he said.

A statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the ministry, Nura Bello Maikwanci, said the permanent secretary also called on the people to promptly report an outbreak of any disease to the ministry or nearest hospital for quick response.

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