Increase in Cholera Cases May Occur – Experts

Medical experts have predicted that an increase in flooding may result in more cholera cases and other water-borne diseases, including fatalities recorded in Lagos and other coastal states as the rainy season peaks.

Already, Lagos and nine other states, mostly from southern Nigeria, have been witnessing massive outbreaks of cholera and other water-borne diseases leading to over 60 deaths according to an epidemiology report from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

NCDC, fortnightly, released an epidemiology report detailing the situation of various epidemics in Nigeria, but with a recent focus on cholera which is on a rampage across the country.

A few weeks ago, NCDC Director General, Jide Idris told newsmen that experts conducted a dynamic risk assessment on the cholera outbreak situation in Nigeria, and the outcome indicated Nigeria is at ‘high risk’ of increased cholera transmission and impact.

“This demands immediate and coordinated actions, and, therefore, necessitated the recent activation of the National Cholera Multi-Sectoral Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) that underscored the gravity of the situation and the unwavering commitment of the stakeholders to protect the health and well-being of every Nigerian.”

Meanwhile, some medical experts, asked the federal and state governments’ health officials to be aware of the pending public health challenges and brace up for quick and effective response to the imminent upsurge in cholera cases and several other water-borne diseases across some states.

Ken Ozoilo, former president of Medical and Dental Consultants of Nigeria, in his response, said: “Recent flooding can worsen the cholera outbreak. Recall that cholera is a water-borne disease and there’s a high possibility of the flood further contaminating water sources for communities.”

He said in the short term, the government should ramp up campaigns on community education and awareness on the prevention and treatment of cholera, further suggesting that programmes for vaccine prevention should be enhanced.

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