300 admitted for cholera in Bauchi

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The Bauchi State government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have been urged to declare a state of emergency following the outbreak of cholera disease in the State.

This is as over 300 persons have been admitted in hospital.

The call was made on Thursday when a team of Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BSPHCDA) and ActionAid Nigeria visited Dass, the headquarters of the local government area on assessment tour and donated Cholera Treatment Centres (CTC).

Speaking during the assessment tour, the Director of Programmes, BSPHCDA, Hajia Suwaiba Yakubu Jibrin, lamented that despite the reporting of 591 confirmed cholera cases between 29th May and 16th July, 2021, the NCDC is yet to intervene.

According to Jibrin, there was an urgent need for the Centre to assist the state in order to tackle the cholera outbreak, which was attributed to poor personal hygiene habits among the people.

“There is an urgent need for the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to come to the aid of the people of Bauchi State to stem the spread of the disease to other communities.

“It is even surprising that the NCDC is yet to wade in despite a report of 591 confirmed cases between 29th May to July 16th 2021,” she lamented.

She, however, enjoyed the people of the area to always ensure that they observed critical hygiene rules and ensure that their foods were prepared under hygienic conditions with a view to preventing further spread of cholera.

On his part, the Residence Programme Coordinator of ActionAid Nigeria, Mr Anicetus Atakpu, regretted that deapite efforts being made by the state government, there is a disconnect among government agencies.

He submitted that there ought to be better synergy among the agencies, the absence of which he claimed was responsible for the high fatality recorded so far in the state.

According to Atakpu, “there is a disconnect among agencies of government, because if there is better synergy, record of infected persons and fatality will not be this high. So we advise the government to bring in more hands.”

He said his organization had noted from its visits to cholera endemic areas in the state that the donation made by ActionAid Nigeria was just little and thus called for more help for Bauchi State.

“Our visit to cholera hotspot in Bauchi State has convinced us to believe that what we have donated was just a drop in the ocean and we feel more international agencies should also render help to the state in order to halt the spread of cholera,” he submitted.

While receiving the team in Dass, the local government hygiene promoter, Mallama Aishatu Ibrahim Gital, attributed the high rate of infection in the local government area to poor observance of personal hygiene habits like hand washing, clean toilet behaviour and proper handling of food.

She disclosed that the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Unit of the Dass Local Governmenr Council had commenced chlorination and decontamination of infected homes.

According to Mallama Gital, the council was equally conducting an aggressive awareness campaign to sensitise the people of the area on how they should observe personal hygiene rules.

According to the BSPHCDA, a total of 2,800 people were hospitalised across the state for the disease, with 42 deaths recorded as of 17th June, 2021.