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NCDC to declare emergency on cholera outbreak

by Haruna Gimba
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By Muhammad Amaan

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) said it is considering declaring a state of emergency if cholera outbreak cases being recorded in the country goes beyond the manageable threshold.

This was disclosed by the Director General of the agency, Dr Jide Idris, who said that the country continues to grapple with the outbreak, which has spread to 30 states.

He revealed this in Lagos during the Adetokunbo Alakija Memorial Travel Medicine Lecture held at Civic Centre, Victoria Island, orgainised by the Nigerian Society of Travel Medicine.

He maintained that based on the data obtained from all the partners involved in the assessment if they look at the data and decide that the situation has exceeded a particular threshold, they can call it an emergency.

Dr Idris said the agency was still awaiting reports from the investigation team.

“So, when they come, when they bring the data, if it has gone beyond a particular threshold, we declare an emergency,” he maintained.

The NCDC, in its recent report, said from January 1 to June 11, 2024, over 1,141 suspected and over 65 confirmed cases of cholera, resulting in over 30 deaths, have been reported from 96 LGAs in 30 states.

Amid this, the Lagos State Ministry of Health said it has recorded 350 suspected cases of cholera in 29 wards across multiple LGAs with 17 confirmed cases and 15 fatalities attributed to severe dehydration caused by delayed presentation.

After delivering his address on the theme: ‘Collaborative Platforms and Networks, Strengthening Travel Medicine in Nigeria,’ Idris, while responding to a question from our correspondent for an update on the cholera outbreak, said the agency has been conducting a risk assessment.

He said, “We have been tracking cholera cases and we are documenting them. For the last two or three weeks, the incidence shot up, with a rising number of deaths and that is why we started investigating and this is where Lagos State came in.”

He, however, warned that prevention and preparation were key to tackling such a disease outbreak.

“We must prepare; prevention means to create the facilities that you will need, the isolation centres, and look at the human resources you have,” the NCDC director added.

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