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Monday, August 30, 2010

Nigeria : Stop This Cholera Scourge

An article from All Africa :

" Almost 400 people have died since the recent wave of the cholera epidemic hit the nation two months ago. Latest figures show over 6,000 people have contracted the disease from the start of this new outbreak in Adamawa State in June this year.

A total of ten states have now recorded both thousands of cases and hundreds of fatalities arising from the epidemic. These states include Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Yobe, Taraba, Kaduna, Cross-River, Rivers and of course Adamawa.

This quick spread of the deadly disease confirms the federal ministry of health's warning that 'Although most of the outbreaks occurred in the North-West and North-East zones, epidemiological evidence indicates that the entire country is at risk.' It is unfortunate that cholera, which used to be heard of once or twice in a decade, has now become an annual epidemic in this country. Even more unfortunate is the fact that despite its regular yearly occurrence, our authorities are always never ready to arrest the disease when the first few cases occur.

Lack of prompt government response and insufficient vaccines have been the first complaints from health workers directly on the scene of these outbreaks. The delayed official response leads to quick spread and avoidable deaths because help does not get to the affected people fast enough.

In Borno State, tales of vaccine shortage forcing affected victims to return home and resort to self-medication were rampant, with the result that victims could not be quarantined, and easily spread the infection to those around them."

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