2021 cholera outbreak highest in recent times -WHO

The World Health Organisation has described the cholera outbreak in the country in 2021 as the highest in recent times.

According to the Organisation, Nigeria recorded over 100,000 suspected cases of cholera in 2021.

Speaking at training on oral cholera vaccine request and campaign planning on Monday, WHO Country Representative in Nigeria, Walter Mulombo, said there is the need to improve coordination of cholera control efforts and ensure clean and safe water as well as improved hygienic practices to contain the disease.

He said, “Nigeria has just recorded its biggest Cholera outbreak which commenced in 2021 with over 100,000 suspected cases reported.

“The need to address issues around WASH remains critical in the long term. This brings to bear the need to improve coordination of cholera control efforts and ensure that clean and safe water as well as improved hygienic practices as highlighted in the Cholera control plans are implemented in a sustainable manner to ensure we achieve the desired goal.”

He said the agency had proved to be effective in the development of National Control Plans, which included vaccination and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene activities.

“We are mindful of the support by different partners and donors through the WHO, for the response.

“These include reactive vaccination with more than 1.7 million persons vaccinated with two doses each of Oral Cholera Vaccination in Bauchi, Jigawa, Yobe, and Zamfara states.

“We believe that the recently approved GTFCC application for Nigeria will significantly mitigate the risk of and upsurge of cholera cases during this rainy season.

“The application covers approximately nine million doses of OCV to implement two campaigns in 14 local government areas in nine states and the FCT.”

Mulombo challenged Nigeria to seize all opportunities for vaccination in specific target areas with zero doses and ensure that often-missed children were offered OCV and all routine vaccinations, adding that this was necessary for the country to meet the global target of ending cholera by 2030.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, lamented the recurrence of the disease in the country despite efforts to contain it.

He decried the unavailability of the vaccine, which he said could help prevent the spread of the disease.

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