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FG activates cholera emergency centre as disease kills 53

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday activated  the National Cholera Multi-Sectoral Emergency Operations Centre ( EOC) in response to the  rapidly increasing cholera cases in the country.

The Director General of the NCDC, Dr Jide Idris, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen in Abuja.

He said as of 24th June 2024, 1,528 suspected cases of cholera , and 53 deaths have been recorded across 31 States and 107 LGAs, with a case fatality rate of 3.5% since the beginning of the year.

He said, “These fatalities are not just statistics but a significant loss of a loved family member, a spouse, a parent, and often a seasoned healthcare worker and team  member. This situation can be compounded as the rainy season intensifies.”

The NCDC DG said in response to the rapidly increasing cholera cases, a dynamic risk assessment was conducted by subject matter experts on cholera outbreak situation in Nigeria last week.

He said the subject matter experts were drawn from relevant ministries (Health,  environment, agriculture, water resources etc.), departments, agencies,  stakeholders, and major partners, adding that the outcome of the risk assessment placed the country at “High Risk” of increased risk of cholera transmission and impact.

“This demands our immediate and coordinated actions and therefore necessitated the activation of the National Cholera Multi-Sectoral Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Nigeria today,” he added.

The NCDC DG said the decision to activate the Cholera EOC underscored the gravity of the situation and the unwavering commitment to protect the health and well-being of every  Nigerian.

He said the EOC would serve as the nerve center for the coordination of response across the country, and also support affected states, facilitate rapid communication, data analysis, and decision-making processes, mobilize resources, as well as expertise, and support from across the NCDC, partners, and stakeholders at all levels of government.

He further said It would ensure efficient deployment of needed resources, strengthen surveillance and  diagnostic capacity and capabilities, enhance case management, training and  intensify public awareness and community engagement activities.

Cholera is a food and water-borne disease, caused by the ingestion of the organism Vibrio Cholerae in contaminated water and food.

Water is usually contaminated by  the faeces of infected individuals. Contamination of drinking water can occur at the source, during transportation, or during storage at home.

The NCDC said food may also be contaminated by soiled hands, either during preparation or while eating. Beverages or drinks prepared with contaminated water or sold by street vendors, ice, and even tampered commercially-bottled water are known to spread the disease, as have cooked vegetables and fruits freshened with untreated wastewater.

The time between infection and the appearance of symptoms is 2 hours to 5 days. It  also has a higher risk of transmission in areas that lack adequate sanitation facilities and/or a regular supply of clean water.

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