The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is to submit a cholera vaccination request to the International Coordinating Group (ICG) and the Global Task Force for Cholera Control (GTFCC).
The Director-General NCDC, Dr Chike Ihekweazu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja that the centre will also submit the request to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.
NAN reports that the ICG was established in 1997, following major outbreaks of meningitis in Africa, as a mechanism to manage and coordinate the provision of emergency vaccine supplies and antibiotics to countries during major outbreaks.
Since 2013, the ICG for Cholera manages the global stockpile of oral cholera vaccine which was created as an additional tool to help control cholera epidemics.
It works closely with vaccine producers, through WHO and UNICEF, and following disease trends.
Ihekweazu noted with concern that deaths arising from Cholera had risen to 1,768 as at Aug 15.
He said that 47,603 suspected cases had also been reported from 23 states since the beginning of 2021.
Ihekweazu said the centre will soon conduct training on cholera surveillance, hot spot mapping and development of state level preparedness and response plans ahead of subsequent cases.
”Cholera cases were reported in Benue, Delta, Zamfara, Gombe, Bayelsa, Kogi, Sokoto, Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna and Plateau.
”Others are Kebbi, Cross River, Niger, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Yobe, Kwara, Enugu, Adamawa, Katsina, Borno, Taraba and the Federal Capital Territory.
“The cases were reported from the beginning of the year. Persons aged five to 14 were mostly affected, 51 per cent being male and 49 per cent, female.
“We also confirm that there was 21 per cent decrease in the number of new cases in week 32 of the year.
”Bauchi reported 1,306, Jigawa 714 and Kebbi 325 accounting for 78.6 per cent of 2,984 suspected cases reported in week 32,” he said.
Ihekweazu said the centre has recorded challenges in accessing some communities with the needed interventions due to security issues, highlighting that open defecation in communities had also been a major contributor.
The NCDC boss highlighted the lack of potable water in the rural communities, inadequate manpower for cholera outbreak as well as insufficient vaccine to go round the affected local government areas had been attributed as challenges being encountered in the cause of responding to the outbreak.
Meanwhile, he said that Nigerians could access its toll free number, which had been changed to “Dial 6232 for FREE
“Reach out to our 24/7 connect centre for verified information on Lassa fever, Cholera, Meningitis, COVID19, Yellow Fever and other infectious diseases.
“Please lets endeavor to use the toll free number responsible as we continue to take responsibility,” he urged.
To reduce the risk of cholera, the NCDC said people must ensure that water is boiled and stored in a clean and safe container before drinking.
The centre also advises good personal hygiene by washing your hands frequently with soap under clean running water, among others. (NAN)