Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Borno State Government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) say they jointly working towards curbing the outbreak of diseases, particularly cholera and polio in border communities in the state.
WHO, in its latest report on disease surveillance in Borno State, said it had engaged 1,180 community-based infromants to assist in cross-border surveillance and to report cholera and polio cases.
“WHO Nigeria, in collaboration with the Borno State Primary Healthcare Development Agency has initiated several strategies for improving cross-border surveillance in inaccessible areas (Mobar, Guzamala and Abadam) bordering Nigeria and Diffa region of Niger republic,” the report said.
WHO said the engement of the informants led to the discovery and timely report of 261 Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) cases from border areas inaccessible to health workers and vaccinators due to insurgency.
WHO, said data from the informants have driven and guided the vaccination of about 3,000 children in communities along international borders of Borno and Diffa region, Niger Republic.
It said the informants have reported measles and cholera outbreaks in the area too.
Meanwhile, medical officials from both Nigeria and Niger Republic have met in Maiduguri to review surveillaince strategies that will ensure children along inaccessible border areas in Borno have access to vaccine to prevent disease outbreak especially polio and cholera. This was disclosed by Chima Onuekwe, WHO Health Emergency Officer, for North -East.
He said the meeting was attended by the deputy governor of Diffa, Alhaji Yahya Godi, health officials from the two countries between September 3-5, and the aim was to prevent, protect, control and provide public health responses to the spread of diseases in the border areas in ways that are largely restricted to public health risk without jeopardising international trade.