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‘Many can’t make it to hospitals’ — panic in Kano as cholera outbreak worsens

‘Many can’t make it to hospitals’ — panic in Kano as cholera outbreak worsens
July 14
18:19 2021

When the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced that six states reported 1,786 suspected cases of cholera between June 20 and 26, Kano was adjudged to be the second worst-hit state, with 362 cases.

In a bid to ascertain the magnitude of the outbreak, TheCable visited some Kano communities and the reality was stark; the outbreak is spreading faster than health workers and facilities can handle.

Several residents of Bichi and Gwarzo LGAs complained of severe abdominal pains, diarrhoea and vomiting — and while some have been hospitalised, others are treating the bacterial disease in their homes without the required emergency health services to take them to the hospital.

At Bichi General Hospital, some patients, especially women and children, are starting to recover from the disease.


Some of those who spoke to TheCable described the situation as terrifying, calling for more aid and support from the authorities to save the lives of those who cannot make it to the hospital.

Talatu, a housewife with two children who recently recovered, said she is lucky to have been brought to the hospital because she thought she would die.

“I thank God I am still alive because my situation was very bad. I started purging uncontrollably and after a while I started vomiting,” she told TheCable.


“I became so weak that I could not even move my body. That was when I was brought to the emergency unit of the hospital where I received treatment to which I responded.

“You should have seen how emaciated I was. But thank God I am now better.”

Nura Mohammed, a local barber, said he went to the hospital when he started purging and vomiting non-stop. He called on the state government to establish mobile treatment centres in the villages, adding that the infectious disease is fast spreading.

“I am very lucky I made it to the hospital because I don’t know of my neighbour’s son who is helpless,” he said.


“I was vomiting and purging uncontrollably that when I came to the hospital, I had to be placed on drips. I don’t know how many I have been given.

“I thank God I am better but I really suffered. The nearby villages where I used to go and barb my customers at home are in a very critical situation and they need help. The authorities should go and save them as many cannot make it to the hospital.”



In Gwarzo LGA, the situation is equally bad. The spread of cholera is on the rise both within the main town and the adjoining villages.

The scenes at the General Hospital in Gwarzo was pathetic as some of the patients were being treated on mats due to the lack of beds and other necessary facilities.


Samaila Tsoho Ado, a farmer, wants the state government to take quick action before the situation gets out of control.

“The people need help. They must be assisted or else the situation will worsen. I am lucky to be in the hospital but there are many out there that are taking herbs and other concoctions that need to be saved,” he said.


“There is the need for emergency outfits to be used during outbreaks like these to not only treat people, but to also stop the spread of the disease.”


Hannatu Sale, a primary school teacher in Gwarzo, was lucky to get treated at the early stage of the disease.

Describing her experience, Sale said she became so weak that it was difficult to move.

She called on the state government to set up an emergency mobile unit to save lives in times of such outbreaks.

“The government needs to be proactive to deal with situations like these. It should always be ready to deal with the situation immediately it appears,” Sale said.

“I am lucky I was treated in the early stage of the ailment but I suffered so much and became completely weak.”

Sources in the Kano health ministry confirmed to TheCable that there is an increase in the number of cases in several communities.

Locals in the affected communities are said to have resorted to taking herbs, with no help in sight.

Despite efforts made by TheCable, Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa, Kano commissioner for health, failed to speak on the state government’s plan to arrest the situation and come to the aid of those who are stuck at home with cholera.

While the infectious disease continues to spread, the actual number of cases in the state is yet to be ascertained.


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