Cholera Outbreak Intensifies As Nigeria Faces Vaccine Shortage


By: Modupe Adeniyi. Freelance Health Reporter.

Map of Africa showing Nigeria

Map of Africa showing Nigeria 


MONDAY, JUNE 24, 2024. Nigeria is facing a growing cholera crisis as the number of suspected cases increases. In the epicenter Lagos, 423 cases have been reported as of June 20. This alarming update was shared by Dr. Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health.


The outbreak has already claimed 24 lives with 35 confirmed infections out of the 417 suspected cases reported across 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Lagos. Dr. Abayomi emphasized the widespread nature of the outbreak, stating:


"Cases were reported from Agege, Badagry, Ikeja, Mushin, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Epe, Ikorodu, Ojo, Alimosho, Eti-Osa, Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Amuwo-Odofin, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos Island, Shomolu, Apapa, Ifako-Ijaiye, Lagos Mainland and Surulere."


The situation in Lagos reflects a broader national crisis. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has confirmed that the country has exhausted its cholera vaccine supply, even as the death toll across Nigeria reaches 40. The Director General of NCDC, Dr. Jide Idris reported that while Nigeria has placed an order for more vaccines from donor agencies, the delivery date remains uncertain.


In response to the outbreak, Lagos State has activated its Emergency Operations Centre. Dr. Abayomi explained, "The Emergency Operations Centre, in collaboration with all relevant partners is actively engaged in contact tracing, community-based surveillance, awareness campaigns, sample testing and ensuring that confirmed cholera cases receive appropriate medical treatment."


Spatial map of cholera outbreak cases in Nigeria by state and regionThe Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has highlighted the concentrated nature of the cholera outbreak. Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo, Nasarawa and Lagos collectively account for a staggering 90 percent of the disease burden nationwide.


This underscores the urgent need for targeted interventions and resource allocation in these high-risk areas. It also emphasizes the critical importance of inter-state cooperation and coordinated efforts to effectively combat the spread of cholera across Nigeria's most affected regions.


As Nigeria grapples with this public health emergency, officials are strongly urging citizens to adhere to strict personal and environmental hygiene practices. These measures are crucial in preventing the further spread of cholera, especially in the face of the current vaccine shortage.


The situation remains fluid as health authorities across the country work tirelessly to contain the outbreak and provide care to those affected. As we await further updates and the arrival of additional vaccines, the importance of community awareness and preventive measures cannot be overstated in the fight against this potentially deadly disease.


Source: Premium Times news.



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Published: June 24, 2024

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