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Cholera in decline as outbreak hits 16,000 suspected infections

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has reported a “general decline” in the number of new cholera infections across the country.

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It said no cases have been reported from Anambra, Nasarawa and Yobe.

New infections continue to be reported in Adamawa, Bauchi, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Kogi, Plateau and Kaduna.

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A total 16,008 suspected infections of cholera have been reported by July 8 across 16 states since the start of 2018. Some 186 people have died.

“Cholera cases are being treated at designated treatment centres in affected States,” said NCDC chief executive officer Chikwe Ihekweazu.

“We are working with the State Ministries of Health, the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF, Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) and other partners to support the response. However, the primary problem and solution lies not in health, but in improving water and sanitation.”

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency has led campaigns to vaccinate residents in most-affected local government areas in Adamawa and Yobe.

NCDC continues to maintain its emergency operations centre at a “Level 2” response to the outbreak, including deploying rapid response teams to affected states.

The teams are helping improving coordination, treatment of identified infected residents, communicate risks and tighten surveillance.

The federal water resources ministry is leading the provision of motorised solar-powered boreholes, sanitation unit with hand washing facilities as well as blocks of latrine compartment.

NCDC blamed recurring outbreaks of cholera on poor water and hygiene facilities in many states. It advised that states prevent outbreak by improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.

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