Humanitarian CrisesNews

Borno State Authorities Fighting Cholera Outbreak

Humanitarian Actors in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria are deploying containment and treatment measures in response to a cholera outbreak in the State.

According to a Cholera outbreak situation report published on Monday, Oct. 18, by the Borno State Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation (WHO), suspected cholera cases reported as of Sunday Oct. 17, was 2,345 with 133 associated deaths.  

The report highlighted the geographical spread of the epidemic, showing that 1,003 cases were from Gwoza, 117 from Damboa, 250 from Hawul, and 93 from Biu. While seven cases were recorded from Magumeri, 72 from Kaga, 43 from MMC (Maiduguri Metropolitan Council),  250 cases from Jere, and 293 from Konduga Local Government areas.

“Active case search continued in all affected locations across the state, supported by WHO,” the report said.  It added that “The teams visited 8,768 households and sensitised 53,675 persons on basic preventive measures for cholera and COVID-19.”

New epidemic hotspots were also identified in Ngala, Nganzai, Bama and Mafa Local Government areas.

The previous situation brief published on Oct. 12, revealed that 264 suspected cases and 18 associated deaths were reported between Oct. 4 and 10. 

According to the report, the total number of suspected cholera cases reported as of Oct. 10 was 2,144 and 125 associated deaths. 

“UNICEF and WHO continue to support the state to curtail the outbreak of cholera through the community health champion house-to-house intervention across the hotspot locations with cholera preventive messages,” the report stated.

It added that “Mobile health teams continue to sensitise people in hard-to-reach locations on cholera awareness and prevention.”

“WHO supported motorised campaigns in IDP camps, host communities and densely populated areas with cholera preventive messages.”

To contain the spread of the disease, stakeholders were collaborating to disseminate information through jingles on cholera prevention and control using  Kanuri, Hausa, Babur Bura, and English languages on local media such as BRTV, Dandal Kura, Al Ansar, and Peace FM radio stations supported by UNICEF, INTERSOS, and MSF Belgium. 

It said, “NOA Community Mobilisation Officers (COMO) conducted a motorised public enlightenment campaign in Hajj camp on Cholera prevention and Control.”

Between Sept. and Oct. 2, 149 suspected cases and 8 associated deaths were reported within the week. According to a brief released on Oct. 5, the total number of suspected cholera cases reported as of Oct. 2 stood at 1,834 with 104 associated deaths.

Lack of quality water analysis across locations with water vendors has been identified as a high-risk transmission route. It added that there was a “need to scale up hygiene promotion awareness in some locations with new cases, including the need for cholera kits.”  

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in its report on developments affecting the humanitarian response in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states highlighted the cholera outbreak alongside other humanitarian issues in the region including alarming levels of acute malnutrition. 

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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