Cholera: Death toll rises to 63, Lagos, Bayelsa, Abia, Zamfara, 6 others worst hit

The federal government on Tuesday said the death toll from the rampaging cholera outbreak has risen to 63, and 2,102 suspected cases.

The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Jide Idris, disclosed this while giving the situation report on the infectious disease, even as he said cases have now been recorded across 122 local government areas in 33 states of the country’s 36 and the Federal Capital Territory.

Idris added that about 90 per cent of the cases were recorded in 10 states of the federation, with seven of them in the southern region.

“Of the top 10 states, Lagos, Bayelsa, Abia, Zamfara, Bauchi, Katsina, Cross River, Ebonyi, Rivers and Delta that contribute about 90 per cent of the cases, seven of them are southern states,” Idris said.

He attributed the outbreak to the ingestion of contaminated food and water, even as he expressed the country’s capacity to curtail further spread despite the challenges posed by the culture of open defecation.

Earlier, Idris had said his agency had already activated the National Cholera Multi-Sectoral Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to coordinate what he described as a robust response to nationwide cholera cases.

He said: “In response to the rapidly increasing cholera cases, a dynamic risk assessment was conducted by subject matter experts on the cholera outbreak situation in Nigeria last week.”

While addressing the president, the DG highlighted some of the challenges faced in the fight against cholera, including open defecation, inadequate toilet facilities, and poor sanitation.

He said the government has demonstrated strong political will to control the outbreak despite these challenges, with an inter-ministerial cabinet committee established to support the response efforts.

He said: “Only 123 (16 per cent) of 774 LGAs in Nigeria are open defecation free, with Jigawa being Nigeria’s only open defecation-free state—more than 48 million Nigerians practice open defecation. Inadequate and existing toilet facilities are not well maintained, even in many government facilities.

“Inadequate safe water and poor sanitation: 11 per cent of schools, six per cent of health facilities, four per cent of motor parks and markets, have access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene services.” (Premium Times)

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