Anambra and Ebonyi States are amongst the 18 States curently being ravaged by cholera. Nigeria is battling the largest outbreak of cholera barely a month after the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, said it had contained the outbreak.
There is growing fear and uncertainty as the outbreak has claimed an unprecedented never of lives and casualties and many Nigerians feel government response and plans are not forthcoming. Almost on daily basis, in the last one week, the media has reported the death of one or more Nigerian due to cholera.
Many states are affected. The fear that the situation may get worse may not be unconnected with the fact that the rains, a factor in the spread, are still much around and every part of Nigeria is a potentially fertile ground for cholera outbreak.
There have been conflicting figures of cholera cases but the latest Epidemiology Summary Sunday Vanguard obtained from the NCDC shows that no fewer than 434 Nigerians have lost their lives to the outbreak and 23,893 suspected cases recorded between January and August 2018.
Documented cases were from 168 local governments in 17 states of Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Borno, Ebonyi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Yobe, Sokoto and Zamfara as well as the FCT since the beginning of the year.
According to the Epidemiology Summary, in the week of 34 (21- 26 August,) about 228 new suspected cases were reported in Zamfara (105), Kano (96) and Katsina (27), with 9 deaths (5 in Zamfara and 4 in Kano).
Also, update from the World Health Organisation, WHO, and other partners on Echo Daily reveals that, with such suspected cases, including deaths, the figure has exceeded the combined number of cases recorded from 2015 to 2017.
The World Health Organisation, WHO has The WHO report traces the huge number of cases to factors including limited access to water and sanitation infrastructure, poor hygiene practices and harsh weather conditions.
Also the recent flooding in some parts of the country has aided the spread of the disease , moving contaminated water and objects easily from one location to another.
Most northern parts of the country where the availability of water is derived from hand dug wells which are in turn prone to contamination have witness more cholera outbreak.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, has announced plans by the Federal Government to come up with a robust plan to banish cholera in the next five years.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ikpeazu, who believed that epidemic prone diseases seem to be on the rise in Nigeria, said that the Centre had increased its response activities being coordinated by the Emergency Operation Committee, EOC, in collaboration with National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Federal Ministry of Water Resources (FMWR), WHO, UNICEF and MSF among others.