The Borno State ministry of health had on Tuesday announced that at least 43 persons have died from cholera infection following the outbreak of the killer disease in different parts of the state.
The health officials had also said at least 559 suspected cases of cholera had been recorded in at least seven local government areas of the state.
The sad announcement, which confirms earlier reports sourced from inside sources that the disease has had a devastating entry into the state, came week after it was confirmed that about 35 persons lost their lives due cholera related illness.
Earlier efforts made by journalists to get official statements from the state Commissioner of health, Juliana Bitrus, were frustrated as the Commissioner insisted that all was well with the state.
The state health officials had not assisted newsmen to provide timely information to the general public on the ravaging disease until it exceeded half a thousand recorded infections, one of the highest in the history of the bowel sapping disease.
Following a media report exposing the magnitude of the cholera infection, the state ministry of health finally came out to address a selected member of the press on the state of cholera epidemic wrecking the state.
According to Ms Bitrus, the killer disease was recorded in seven local governments of the state comprising Dambao, Gwoza, Hawul, Jere, Kaga Magumeri, and Maiduguri Metropolitan Council
She said a total of 354 cases were recorded in Gwoza with 18 deaths while Hawul recorded 126 cases with 11 deaths.
“The remaining are Kaga with 22 cases and two deaths, Magumeri with six cases and one death, and Damboa with 39 cases and 10 deaths.
“Jere has eight cases with one death while Maiduguri has four cases with no death.”
Curbing the deadly spread
The health commissioner said the Borno state government “has directed all rapid response teams for disease surveillance and control in the affected LGAs to ensure timely response to all suspected cases.”
“Active case search in communities is ongoing while about 10 CTC/CTU has been established in affected LGAs.
“All secondary health facilities have been directed to create isolation wards for management of cholera case,” she said.
“People should observe precautionary measures like regular hand washing before eating and after visiting the toilets, covering of food and warming of leftover food before consumption,” she advised.
Ms Bitrus who was recently posted to head the health ministry after serving for about two in the ministry of Animal and Fishery urged the citizens of the state “to treat water with aqua tablets or by chlorination and ensure that all those who died from the disease were buried in line with IPC protocol.”
Apart from COVID-19 cholera has recently joined the list of life-threatening diseases that have so far ravaged lives in 22 out of the 36 States of Nigeria.
The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) records reveal that since the beginning of 2021 when Cholera erupted in the country an estimated fatality figure of more than 1,000 has been recorded.