Nigeria: NCDC deplores state of water and sanitation facilities as cholera kills 816 Nigerians

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The Nigerian Center for Disease Control, NCDC, yesterday lamented the state of water, sanitation and hygiene, WASH.

It also revealed that a total of 816 Nigerians lost their lives due to cholera, while 31,425 suspected cases were recorded between January and August 1, 2021.

In a statement signed by the agency’s chief executive, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, NCDC called for an urgent need to strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene, WASH facilities nationwide.

According to him, the lack of access to drinking water, open defecation, lack of sanitation and hygiene have worsened the epidemic in the states of Nigeria.

As of August 1, 2021, a total of 31,425 suspected cholera cases, including 816 deaths, have been reported in 22 states and FCT.

Affected states include Benue, Delta, Zamfara, Gombe, Bayelsa, Kogi, Sokoto, Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Kebbi, Cross River, Niger, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Yobe, Kwara, Enugu, Adamawa, Katsina, Borno and FCT .

“The national cholera EOC has led to the deployment of rapid response teams to support the most affected states – Benue, Kano, Kaduna, Zamfara, Bauchi and Plateau states. In addition, NCDC and its partners have provided States with case management and laboratory products. diagnostics, risk communication material, response guidelines, among other materials, ”said Ihekweazu.

He noted, however, that none of the medical interventions would solve the underlying problems leading to cholera outbreaks, as the disease remained a waterborne disease, with a high risk of transmission.

He denounced poor waste disposal and practices, such as open defecation, which endanger the safety of water used for consumption and personal use.

“These lead to the spread of water-borne diseases such as cholera. Without proper water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH), Nigeria remains at risk of cholera cases and death,” he said. added.

The NCDC boss said the long-term solution to cholera control lies in access to clean water, maintaining proper sanitation and hygiene.

He said: We continue to advocate for state governments to prioritize action for solutions that ensure access to and use of safe drinking water, basic sanitation and good practices. hygiene in communities. “

Ihekweazu urged Nigerians to keep their environment clean, to drink or use boiled and safely stored water, to ensure that food is cooked and stored in a clean and safe environment, to avoid defecation at air and wash your hands regularly with soap and running water.

“Cholera is preventable and treatable; however, it can be fatal when infected people do not have immediate access to care.

“Nigerians are advised to go to a health facility immediately if they suddenly experience profuse watery diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and weakness,” he said.

Ihekweazu further called for urgent improvement in access to safe drinking water, proper sanitation and hygiene as NCDC continues to work with partners to lead the health sector response to cholera outbreaks. .

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