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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Nigeria records 53 deaths as government warns against unhygienic drinks

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Nigeria has recorded 53 deaths and 1,528 suspected cases of cholera in 107 local government areas (LGAs) in 31 states as of Monday.

The deaths represent a case fatality rate of 3.5 percent since the beginning of 2024, according to the director-general of the Nigerian Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), Jide Idris.

Idris gave the updates at a press conference on Monday in Abuja. He also announced the activation of the National Cholera Multi-Sector Emergency Operations Center (COE) to coordinate a robust response to the outbreak.

He noted that experts who conducted a risk assessment last week placed Nigeria at high risk of further transmission and impact of cholera.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Environment, Iziaq Salako, in a statement on Monday, also advised Nigerians to avoid locally made drinks such as kunu, zobo and fura to prevent the spread of cholera disease.

“Avoid locally prepared drinks such as kunu, zobo, fura da nono, koko and fruit juices, among others, unless you are sure that the preparation was done in a hygienic and safe manner,” Salako said.

“Wash your hands regularly with soap and running water, especially after using the bathroom, cleaning a child who has gone to the bathroom, before preparing food, before and after eating, and after playing with animals.”

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Cases increase as Lagos investigates the cause

In Lagos State, the death toll from cholera has risen to 29, with another 30 patients hospitalized, the state’s Health Commissioner, Akin Abayomi, also revealed during a press conference on Monday.

Abayomi noted that 579 suspected and 43 laboratory-confirmed cases have been recorded, and attributed the increased mortality rate to late arrival at the hospital.

“Most of these deaths were caused by patients arriving very late at a stage where we could not resuscitate them because they were severely rehydrated and many patients arrived dead,” he said.

Almost two weeks after the outbreak of the disease, the state authority has yet to determine the specific source that caused the sudden increase in cases across the state.

“So far we have not been able to identify a source, but investigations are continuing because we want to see if we can identify a particular source or sources,” Abayomi said.

“But going forward, we will maintain active surveillance around our water sources and beverage distribution in Lagos State,” Abayomi said while giving an update on the disease.

He noted that cases of severe gastroenteritis have been reported in communities around Eti-Osa, Lagos Island, Ikorodu and Kosofe Local Government Area of ​​the state.

Also, in Ogun State, the Commissioner for Health, Tomi Coker, revealed that the state has recorded one death and 25 suspected cases of cholera in seven LGAs: Adoodo/Ota, Remo North, Odeda, Sagamu, Ijebu North, Ewekoro and Obafemi Owode. .

Nigeria’s effort

During the press conference, the NCDC Director General explained that the activated COE will be the center to coordinate and direct the country’s response to the cholera outbreak.

“Support affected states, facilitate rapid communication, data analysis and decision-making processes, mobilize resources, expertise and support from partners and stakeholders at all levels of government.

“An incident manager has been appointed to oversee the daily activities of the EOC, which will focus on surveillance, case management, oral cholera vaccine distribution, coordination, infection prevention and control, logistics, support and research,” he stated. saying.

Idris noted that prior to the activation of the COE, the NCDC had pre-positioned medical supplies, provided on-site support to affected states, conducted training for laboratory scientists and community mobilizers, and distributed public awareness materials.

He said the agency provided internal and external support to the states (Lagos and Ogun) and tracked daily reports and progress of response activities.

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