CEO, NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu

Paul Obi in Abuja

The federal government Saturday said it had reached out to other Lake Chad Basin countries to fine-tune ways of curbing the spread of cholera in the country.

This came on the heels of reports indicating that about 16,008 cases and 186 deaths had been recorded in 16 states of the federation.

Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, explained that besides reaching out to Lake Chad Basin countries, the federal government had been supporting many states in their responses to the outbreak of cholera.

He said: “The primary focus of the response has been to improve access to water and sanitation in these states. In addition, vaccination campaigns led by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) have been carried out in the most affected Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Adamawa and Yobe States.

“Nigeria is also working with other Lake Chad basin countries to strengthen cross-border collaboration for cholera control.

“The NCDC and partners have begun plans for a national cholera prevention campaign, prioritising states with the highest burden. This campaign will be driving prevention messages through the mass media, new media,” Ihekweazu stressed.

He added that although cholera cases were still being reported in Adamawa, Bauchi, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Kogi, Plateau and Kaduna, there had been a general decline in the number of new cases.

In the last four weeks, no case has been reported from Anambra, Nasarawa and Yobe States, he said.

According to NCDC CEO, “Cholera cases are being treated at designated treatment centres in affected states. We are working with the State Ministries of Health, the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF, Medecin Sans Frontiers (MSF) and other partners to support the response.”

NCDC officials and field officers have also been deployed across the most affected 16 states in the country to track outbreaks and scale up preventive measures.