EU Donates N192m to Combat Cholera in Yobe


By Michael Olugbode

The European Union (EU) has donated €400,000, conservatively N192 million, to combat cholera in Yobe State.

A statement yesterday by the EU read: “In response to the cholera outbreak affecting Nigeria, the EU is supporting medical humanitarian NGO ALIMA’s (The Alliance for International Medical Action) ongoing efforts to reduce fatality rates in Yobe state, with N192 million (€400 000).”

The statement added that: “As of 26 September 2021, over 88 563 suspected cases of cholera and 3,057 suspected deaths were reported in Nigeria. 78% of the states in the country have reported suspected cholera cases. Children between 5 and 14 years old are the most affected, while the North-East state of Yobe has recorded one of the highest incidence.”

The Head of EU’s Humanitarian Aid Office in Nigeria, Bart Witteveen, was quoted in the statement to have said:“The EU’s support will allow our partner, ALIMA, to strengthen case management, to reduce fatality rates, as well as to support referrals from communities or to ensure access to safe water and sanitation in health facilities.”

The EU lamented that the current outbreak has spread over the border with Niger, an additional challenge as the health system is also under pressure due to the current malaria season, with the intense rain season increasing the risk of flooding and of malnutrition cases.

ALIMA’s Medical Coordinator in Nigeria, Dr. Anthelme Seka was also quoted in the statement to have said: “This support from the European Union is critical because it will help save more lives. Thanks to this funding, ALIMA is already able to begin its actions on the ground to respond to the ongoing outbreak, with the sole objective being to provide quality emergency medical care to the most affected local communities.”

EU, meanwhile, has decried that access to vulnerable communities for cholera vaccination is increasingly challenging, due to insecurity triggering population movements in the country’s northern regions, insisting that the situation is further worsened by the overlap with the COVID-19 pandemic.