Cholera: Borno Sets Up Committee To Tackle Epidemic

The committee will look into the rising cholera cases in Borno, Northeast Nigeria, towards reducing its spread.

The Borno State Government in Northeast Nigeria has set up a 13-man committee for the control of cholera outbreaks in the state. Last week, the State Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 43 persons have died from cholera related diseases in seven local government areas of the state.

Juliana Bitrus, the Borno state Commissioner of Health, said a total of 559 were diagnosed with contracting the ailment. Although officials of the health ministry declined further details on whether the toll of infection had risen. 

Deputy governor of Borno state, Umar Kadafur, who inaugurated the Cholera Committee advised members of the public on the possible causes of the cholera outbreak by avoiding contaminated food or water. 

Medical science has identified a bacteria called Vibro Cholerae that lives in a dirty environment as a major cause of the killer disease. 

Kadafur, therefore, urged the general public to take precautionary measures by observing strict hygiene rules of hand washing before eating and visiting toilets as well as covering and warming of leftover food before consumption.

He, therefore, urged the general public “to take precautionary measures by observing strict hygiene rules of hand washing before eating and visiting toilets as well as covering and warming of leftover food before consumption.”

Mr Kadafur who represented the governor said the state government had earlier activated “all Rapid Response Teams (RRT) for disease surveillance and control in all the affected areas to tackle suspected cases.”

The deputy governor also confirmed the death of 43 persons from cholera, and that 559 others are currently hospitalised in MMC, Jere, Gwoza, Kaga, Hawul, Magumeri and Damboa local government areas. 

Addressing the committee chaired by Isa Husseini, a Professor of Pharmacology and a Chief of Staff Governor Zulum, the deputy governor urged them to  “work hard to justify the confidence reposed in them by the government.”

The committee’s term of reference as spelt out by the Deputy Governor are “to determine the extent of the outbreak; ascertain the level of preparedness for the control of the disease; ascertain the cause of the disease; to ensure effective collaboration with the response teams as well as to determine the needs requirements for the control of the outbreak.”

The deputy governor also directed the Committee “to mobilise and coordinate all resources available for the control and prevention of the outbreak, and to ensure the establishment of a situation room for regular updates and to activate all LGA Rapid Response Teams (RRT).”

Professor Hussaini assures that “the committee will immediately swing into action and will liaise with the Ministry of Health, Environment and other relevant bodies to ensure all preventive measures are put in place.”

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Abdulkareem Haruna

Abdulkareem Haruna is a Nigerian journalist who has provided extensive coverage of the Lake Chad conflict in north-eastern Nigeria for over a decade. A graduate of English Language with a Diploma in Mass Communications. He previously worked as an assistant editor with Premium Times and Leadership Newspaper. Haruna has a strong knowledge of the Northeast and follows the trends in the region closely.

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