The cholera epidemic began its spread from the start of 2021 with rural communities bearing the brunt. Worse hit with over 69,925 suspected cases of cholera and 2,323 deaths are 25 states and the FCT this year, according to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The World Health Organisation (WHO) described the epidemic as an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by eating or drinking food or water contaminated with the bacterium, Vibrio cholera. Cholera remains a global threat to public health.
Recently, the Federal Ministry of Environment in conjunction with other health stakeholders, commenced campaign against the spread of cholera in Bazango community in Kubwa, FCT, a suburb in Bwari area council. The FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, during the campaign notes that so far over 77 people died from the recent cholera outbreak in the six area councils of the territory.
The secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr Mohammed Kawu, who represented the minister called on traditional rulers, council chairmen and other stakeholders to continue the sensitisation to curb spread of the disease.
“The cholera outbreak has flattened as reports from across the six area councils indicate that 1,296 were affected, with a total fatality figure of 77; which gives us six per cent of casualties,” he said.
Kawu, during a press briefing on efforts by FCT administration to curtail the spread of the disease said that they have repositioned treatment, drugs, other consumables in all the health facilities in affected areas and all secondary healthcare facilities in the FCT, so that anybody that has diarrhoea is treated free.
“We have also provided water and sanitation in the affected areas by working with the FCT Water Board, FCT Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASA), and the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB),” he said.
He described cholera as a disease that is closely associated with poor hygiene, thereby appealing to residents to make extra efforts to ensure proper cleaning of their environment and cultivate good sanitary habits.
According to the secretary, Bwari area council has been identified as the epicentre of the outbreak in the FCT followed by the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). He discloses that measures have been put in place to prevent a recurrence.
“It is gratifying to note that all the affected communities have been visited and we have told them what they need to do to prevent this cholera outbreak.
“It appears, and it is clear that they have understood what we told them and they have taken those decisions and they are doing those things and that’s why the cases have come down,” he said.
These efforts has also made the FCT administration, through the permanent secretary, Olusade Adesola, announce plans to rehabilitate over 500 toilets and other projects in schools and communities across the six area councils of Abuja, to prevent spread of the disease.