Recent figures released by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says a total of 31,425 suspected cases of Cholera and 816 deaths, have been recorded in 22 states including the Federal Capital Territory(FCT), warning the populace to protect themselves.
I gathered that most affected states were in the north, and reported cases from January to date were those of children between ages of five to 15 years making 27 per cent of the figures, with 51 per cent male and 49 per cent female in all suspected cases.
In Katsina State, over 60 persons on Monday 9th of August were reported dead with over 1,400 suspected cases recorded. A day after, death figures were at 75, while suspected cases increased to about 1,500 among the 25 affected Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
A resident, Usman Abdulkarim notes, “We have been battling with the disease in Malumfashi for the past one month. As we speak, many people have died of Cholera and nobody is ready to assist us. We only improvise ways that we know best will help to control it.”
Another resident, Shamsudee Kabir Jibia, expressed worries over the outbreak of the disease in Katsina, describing the pandemic as the will of God and people should turn to God in prayers to heal the state instead of lamenting.
He added that the government should urgently rise to the challenge by providing drugs and other health facilities, making them accessible to people in affected areas.
The state commissioner for Health, Yakubu Nuhu Danja, while giving an update on the outbreak of the pandemic, explained that drugs had been purchased by the state government for distribution to hospitals across the state for treatment of the disease.
The commissioner added that health education on prevention and management of the disease and active case search and surveillance were ongoing across the 34 LGA’s of the state, adding that the state government is making efforts towards control of the outbreak.
“Free drugs for the treatment of this outbreak are being purchased for distribution to hospitals for treatment of the cases. Health education on prevention and management of the disease is ongoing. Active case search and surveillance is also ongoing across the state,” he said.
He admonished residents to keep proper environmental sanitation, frequent hand washing, proper food hygiene, washing of fruits and vegetables as well as proper cooking of food items. He tasked food vendors to cover their food items to avoid contact with flies, stating, “We must all avoid open defecation and ingestion of contaminated water.”
The executive secretary, Katsina State Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA), Dr Shamsuddeen Yahaya, says Cholera outbreak is related to poor personal and environmental hygiene, hence people should be mindful of what they do in their surroundings especially the water they drink.