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From 397 to 2,141 — how suspected cholera deaths rose by 400% in two months

From 397 to 2,141 — how suspected cholera deaths rose by 400% in two months
September 09
16:59 2021

Nigeria has witnessed an upsurge in fatalities recorded from the cholera outbreak ravaging parts of the country.

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As of June, the death toll from the affected states was 397. But by August, Nigeria had lost 2,141 persons suspected to have died of cholera — according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Between June 28 and August 29, not less than 1,747 deaths have been recorded.

Within the two months under review, Kano recorded the highest fatalities – 711. This is followed by Sokoto with 390 deaths, while 388 people have died in Bauchi.

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According to data from the NCDC weekly situation report, Bauchi has recorded the highest number of suspected cases — 7,202 — followed by Jigawa with 1,163; Katsina, 992; Kano, 955 and Zamfara, 819.

The disease also spread from the 17 states reported in June to 23 states and the federal capital territory (FCT) by the end of August.

The NCDC said since January 2021, children aged between five and 14 have been the most affected, while 51 percent of the affected victims are males, and 49 percent are females.

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The agency also said the outbreak has been worsened by poor access to clean water, open defecation and poor hygiene.

RESPONSE ACTIVITIES

Following the rapid rise in the infection rate, the NCDC activated the national cholera emergency operations centre (EOC) in June. National rapid response teams (RRTs) with essential materials have been deployed to nine states – Zamfara, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Plateau, Jigawa, Niger — and the FCT.

Surveillance, case management, and sensitisation are also ongoing in affected states.

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CHALLENGES

The NCDC has lamented inadequate vaccines to cover affected LGAs as one of the challenges encountered in its response to the outbreak.

The agency also cited other challenges to include, lack of adequately trained manpower, inadequate health facilities, cholera commodities for the management of patients, as well as inconsistent reporting from states.

However, in its latest report, the NCDC says the infection rate appears to be slowing down across states.

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As of August 29, Nigeria has recorded a total of 65,145 suspected cases of cholera and 2,141 deaths.

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