July 21, 2024

Current Cholera Outbreak Keeps Claiming Lives, Mortality Rate Now at 37 

The current cholera outbreak in Nigeria has claimed 37 lives, with Lagos State reporting 401 cases, according to health officials.


Dr. Kemi Ogunyemi, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Health, announced on Thursday that the state had recorded six additional cholera deaths, raising the total from 15 to 21. In a statement by Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, the Director of Public Affairs at the state Ministry of Health, Dr. Ogunyemi provided an update on the outbreak, noting that Lagos Island, Kosofe, and Eti Osa were the most affected areas.


“Following the last update on the cholera outbreak in Lagos, which reported 350 suspected cases and 15 fatalities, the total number of cholera cases has increased to 401 across Lagos,” Dr. Ogunyemi said. She attributed the rise in cases to the large gatherings during the Sallah festivities but noted that suspected cases are now subsiding due to the state government’s interventions and surveillance efforts.


In Ogun State, the Health Commissioner, Dr. Tomi Coker, confirmed one death and 14 cases. “A 62-year-old lady who contracted cholera from her sick son died in Ijebu Igbo. Five others have also been hospitalised across four local government areas of Ota, Abeokuta South, Obafemi Owode, and Ijebu North,” Dr. Coker said. She urged residents to maintain good hygiene and avoid drinking water from unknown sources.


The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) reported over 1,141 suspected and 65 confirmed cases of cholera, resulting in over 30 deaths from January 1 to June 11, 2024. The outbreak spans 96 local government areas in 30 states.


The recent spike in cases has prompted international organizations, including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the International Organisation for Migration, to hold an emergency meeting in Lagos. Cholera, caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, is a food and water-borne disease that can cause severe acute watery diarrhea, leading to death if untreated.


The Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation has initiated a water quality analysis to identify the sources of contamination. Permanent Secretary Aliyu Shinkafi stated, “Teams from the National Water Quality Reference Laboratories in Lagos, Enugu, and Sokoto have been dispatched to collect water samples and investigate the presence of Vibrio cholerae in the affected areas.”


In response to the outbreak, state governments are implementing various preventive measures. The Ogun State Commissioner for Health emphasized the importance of vigilance and community hygiene to prevent further spread. Meanwhile, Cross River and Osun States have intensified their cholera prevention efforts through community sensitization and educational outreach.


Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has called on state governments to address the underlying issues that facilitate cholera outbreaks, such as inadequate sanitation facilities and unsafe water supply. CAPPA’s Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi, stated, “The resolution to controlling cholera lies in the effective management of public water and sanitation systems.”


The Lagos State government continues to maintain rigorous surveillance and monitoring of the outbreak, encouraging residents to seek medical attention immediately if they experience symptoms such as watery diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, general malaise, and fever. Cholera treatment is provided free of charge at all public health facilities in Lagos.

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