A cholera outbreak in northern Nigeria’s Yobe State has claimed at least 61 lives, according to a governmnet official
The local Commissioner for Health, Dr Muhammad Kawuwa, said there were at least 906 reported fresh cases.
The state official, calling for emergency assistance, said at least 50 of the reported Acute Water Diarrhoea (AWD) cases were in critical condition in various hospitals.
“Some of the AWD cases were caused by Vibrio bacterae, the bacteria that cause cholera,“ the commissioner said.
Dr Kawuwa explained that 906 infections were recorded in six local government areas of Gujba, Gulani, Damaturu, Fune, Potiskum and Nangere in two months.
“Over 795 patients were successfully treated and discharged, 50 are still on admission in various health facilities across the state.
“Unfortunately, we lost 61 patients mainly due to delays in reporting to the healthcare facilities for life saving treatment.”
Dr Kawuwa said further that the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Abuja were verifying the causes of the outbreak.
He said the verification was necessary to scale up response with the support of the international partners.
The commissioner identified personal hygiene, absence of sanitation facilities and flooding of water sources by the rains as possible causes of the outbreak.
He called on water, sanitation and health sector partners, religious and traditional leaders and the affected communities to cooperate in containing the outbreak and to check spread.
The Yobe government had three months ago declared an earlier cholera outbreak in its five local government areas.
The commissioner said the initial outbreak recorded 16 deaths, in 404 cases with Bade Local Government having 379 cases, Karasuwa 16, Jakusko, four, Yusufari three and Bursari, two.