Yobe State requests WHO’s expertise over fresh cholera outbreak

Damaturu, 27 September 2018 - The Yobe state Government has called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to deploy its human resources and technical expertise to contain the ongoing outbreak of cholera in the state. The request was contained in a Press statement in Damaturu, the state capital by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Muhammad Bello Kawuwa. 

According to Dr Kawuwa, the cholera outbreak has already claimed the lives of 61 persons in six Local Government Areas (LGAs) - Damaturu, Fune, Gujba, Gulani, Nangere and Potiskum. He said that the state has recorded 906 cases of cholera in the past two months out of which 795 have been successfully treated and discharged from health facilities and emergency treatment centres. 

Nigeria is currently facing a large cholera outbreak affecting the Northeast and other regions. Report published on 10 September 2018 by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), showed 27,927-suspected cases (including 517 deaths), had been recorded in 19 States.

“We believe WHO and other partners have the expertise and resources to help stop this outbreak and save lives of our people”, Dr Kawuwa said. He stressed that the ongoing insurgency in the Northeast has devastated the infrastructure in the health sector in the state resulting in poor access to safe drinking water and health service delivery to the people. 

Already, WHO has engaged and deployed 50 ad-hoc environmental health workers for house-to-house search for cases in all the affected LGAs. According to the WHO State Coordinator, Mr Bafale Adamu, “WHO has also shared posters to all health facilities across the state for enhanced surveillance, provided Rapid Diagnostic Test kits for testing samples as well as the provision of drugs and intravenous fluids such as Ringer’s Lactate solution for case management”.

Yobe state experienced a similar cholera outbreak earlier in 2018. With the support of WHO, other partner agencies and donors through the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund, this outbreak was successfully contained.

In addition to intervention in Yobe, WHO is actively engaged with its partners in monitoring the situation as well as providing support to the Federal and state health authorities to respond to the outbreak. Through the support, WHO aims at: improving early detection, verification, reporting and laboratory confirmation of cholera cases; improving treatment of affected patients, and supporting community engagement and mobilization especially related to water sanitation and hygiene (WASH)

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