Northeast Nigeria: Cholera outbreak could have been much worse, WHO says

THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – On Friday, September 22, 2017, an official of World Health Organisation (WHO) in the northeast Nigerian state, Borno, where a cholera outbreak across several internally displaced persons (IDP) camps within the state has claimed 48 lives, said it could have been much worse.

Report says about 2000 people were afflicted with the disease.

After assessing ongoing cholera vaccination exercise in Borno, Dr Wondi Alemu, the WHO representative in Nigeria said:

‘For the outbreak of cholera, we are prepared from May or June before the rainy season that this could occur. The preparation was led by the state government, ministry of health and some of the medicine and kits were placed where they were needed, once cholera was identified we moved in, the amount of work and commitment is commendable. We have treatment centres close to the communities, yes it was anticipated, we were prepared for it.’

‘The government has prepared what we call national cholera prevention and control plan, where all of us are participating, particularly in Borno. And in this kind of situation when we have cholera outbreak, we have to do what is needed to save life and to check the disease from spreading,’ Alemu said.

‘The issue is that for any of this case that is conducive for cholera spread, we have anticipated, based on the anticipation we have quickly come to contain it as quick as possible. If not for the intervention this is not the number of cases we would have had, it would have been much worse,’ he added.

He explained that:

‘WHO has supported right from the very beginning in the confirmation of cholera cases and after that, worked with the state ministry of health and also other partners in the establishment of treatment centres and also provision of supplies, medicine, and technical support including going from house to house, finding cases and directing them to the treatment centres and making sure there is intervention.’

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