HomeNewsZamfara Battles Cholera and Diphtheria Outbreaks

Zamfara Battles Cholera and Diphtheria Outbreaks

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Zamfara State in northern Nigeria is facing a dual challenge of containing cholera and diphtheria outbreaks that have affected thousands of people and claimed dozens of lives since December 2022. The state’s Commissioner of Health, Dr. Aishatu Anka, said on Wednesday that Zamfara has recorded 1,188 cases of cholera and 50 cases of diphtheria across its 14 local government areas. She said 40 people have died from cholera and two from diphtheria.

Cholera is a bacterial infection that causes severe diarrhea and dehydration, and can be fatal if not treated promptly. Diphtheria is a respiratory disease that can cause breathing difficulties, heart problems, and paralysis. Dr. Anka said the state government is taking measures to control the outbreaks and provide treatment to the affected people. She said she visited some of the cholera treatment centers in Gusau, the state capital, to assess the situation and distribute medical supplies.

She said cholera is prevalent in Gusau Anka, Bakura, and Bukkuyum local government areas, while diphtheria cases have been reported in other parts of the state. She said an investigation is ongoing to ascertain the extent of the spread of the diseases. She also commended the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for establishing a state center at Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital Gusau, where samples are tested and confirmed.

She urged the public to ensure sanitation of their environment and practice effective personal hygiene. She also advised them to consume only clean water and report any symptoms of the diseases to the nearest health facility. Zamfara is not the only state in Nigeria that is grappling with cholera outbreaks. According to the NCDC, as of September 2023, more than 60,000 suspected cases and over 2,000 deaths have been reported in 23 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The NCDC said it is working with the Federal Ministry of Health, state governments, and partners to coordinate the response and prevent further spread of the disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also provided technical and logistic support to Nigeria to enhance surveillance, case management, infection prevention and control, risk communication, and water sanitation and hygiene interventions.

The WHO said it is committed to supporting Nigeria to end the cholera outbreaks and improve access to safe water and sanitation for its population.

Source: [Vanguard]

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