Cholera: FG eyes vaccine donations as cases hit 1,579

The Federal Government may get emergency vaccine doses from the Vaccine Alliance, Gavi, to contain the cholera outbreak in the country.

The Chief Executive Officer of Gavi, Dr Sania Nishtar, in a post on her X handle @SaniaNishtar, on Thursday, said the body was concerned about the cholera outbreak in Nigeria and was ready to support the country in its response.

She tweeted, “Deeply concerned about the ongoing #cholera outbreak in Nigeria. @Gavi and partners are closely monitoring the cholera outbreak, and stand ready to support the government to quickly respond, including to request emergency vaccine doses where needed.

“The global cholera stockpile, which is funded by Gavi, is currently fully replenished and ready to help contain outbreaks and protect those at highest risk.”

There are three World Health Organisation pre-qualified oral cholera vaccines available – Dukoral®, Shanchol™, and Euvichol®.

The vaccines require two doses for full protection.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, on Monday, activated the Emergency Operation Centre which underscored the gravity of the situation in the country.

The Director General of the NCDC, Dr Jide Idris, said the EOC would serve as the nerve centre for the coordination of response across the country.

It would also support affected states, facilitate rapid communication, data analysis, and decision-making processes.

“It will ensure efficient deployment of needed resources, strengthen surveillance and diagnostic capacity and capabilities, enhance case management, training and intensify public awareness and community engagement activities,” Idris started.

He noted that experts who conducted the risk assessment last week placed Nigeria at high risk of increased cholera transmission and impact.

Meanwhile, the Incident Management of the EOC, Dr Muntari Hassan, stated that the outbreak had killed 54 persons as of Wednesday.

Hassan said 1,579 suspected cases were recorded in 32 states across 115 local government areas.

Speaking with our correspondent, he said, “The outbreak has been declared an emergency, hence the activation of the Emergency Operation Centre on Monday.”

Giving the update in Osun State in an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday, the Commissioner for Health, Mr Jola Akinola, said out of the 14 suspected cases, 13 results obtained so far turned out to be negative, with one result still being expected.

He, however, said the state would not lower its guard, as no effort would be spared to ensure no cholera outbreak in Osun.

Officials from the state Ministry of Health held a sensitisation rally against cholera at Sabo Market, Ile-Ife.

The market men and women were addressed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Sanitation, Mr Richard Afolayan, and the Director of Environmental Health and Sanitation in the ministry, Mr Wale Akala.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Dr Ipalibo Banigo, however, said curbing the cholera outbreak was everyone’s responsibility.


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