Nigeria records 23,550 cases of cholera

In 2022, Nigeria reported 23,550 suspected cholera cases, with Borno accounting for the majority at 12,459 cases.

According to Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, director-general of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation also lost 583 citizens to the scourge in 2022.

According to him, Yobe, Borno’s neighbour, came in second with 1,888 cases, and Katsina State came in third with 1,632 cases.

Kano State recorded 1,131 cases, Gombe State 1,407 cases, and Taraba 1,142 cases.

The six states accounted for 84 per cent of all cases of Cholera in Nigeria in 2022, Adetifa said.

He also told NAN that 52 per cent of cholera victims in 2022 were female while males accounted for the balance of 48 per cent.

He put the fatality rate at 2.5 per cent of cases reported in 33 states of the federation.

Adetifa said children between the ages of five years and 14 years were the most affected.

He noted that bacterial cholera, endemic during the rainy season, is an acute diarrhoeal disease passing through faeces, contaminated foods and drinks and unhygienic environment and causes severe dehydration.

He lamented that cholera is largely associated with rural communities and among the poor with poor nutrition, poor water quality, and poor sanitation and had not gotten the desired attention from governments.

Adetifa said the rise in cholera cases in Nigeria was exacerbated by limited access to clean water and sanitation facilities, open defecation and poor hygiene practices.

He cautioned that without proper Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) practices, Nigeria would continue to be at risk of cholera outbreaks along with the associated sufferings and deaths.

“The long-term solution for cholera control lies in access to safe drinking water, maintenance of proper sanitation (especially the discontinuation of open defecation) and the practice of hygiene.

“Nigerians should avoid open defecation and indiscriminate refuse dumping which contribute to the spread of cholera,’’ he told NAN.

In 2016, Nigeria launched an action plan to end open defecation by 2025. The plan involves providing equitable access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services and strengthening tailored community approaches to total sanitation.

The country needs an estimated N959 billion to end open defecation by 2025, experts say. (NAN)

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