The number of people who have died from cholera in Nigeria in 2021 is now more than the number of COVID-19 related deaths reported so far.
The cholera death toll in the country hit 3,208 from a total number of 88,704 suspected cases recorded from the beginning of the year till October 3, 2021.
While the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country is 209,546, the COVID-19 related death reported is 2,838, according to figures from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
Recall that the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Nigeria on February 27, 2020.
According to the Cholera Situation Weekly Epidemiological report of the NCDC, covering September 27 to October 3, 2021, 31 states and the Federal Capital Territory have reported suspected cholera cases in 2021.
“These are Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Enugu, FCT, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Rivers and Zamfara,” NCDC noted.
In the reporting week, 13 states reported 737 suspected cases, Yobe (230), Zamfara (136), Bauchi (113), Sokoto (84), Adamawa (42), Katsina (35), Oyo (32), Ebonyi (26), Kebbi (26), Gombe (5), Nasarawa (4), Kano (3) and Abia (1).
The data from NCDC showed that there was a 37 per cent decrease in the number of new suspected cases in week 39 (737) compared with week 38 (1,163).
“Yobe (230), Zamfara (136), and Bauchi (113) account for 65 per cent of 737 suspected cases reported in week 39.
“During the reporting week, 159 Cholera Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) were conducted. RDT conducted were from Zamfara (136) and Adamawa (23). Of this, a total of 12 (eight percent) were positive by RDT.
“A total of 137 Culture tests were conducted in Zamfara (136)) and Adamawa (1). Of this, 3( two percent) were positive.
“Of the cases reported, there were eleven deaths from Sokoto (3), Yobe (3), Bauchi (3), Ebonyi (1), and Kebbi (1) states with a weekly case fatality ratio (CFR) of 1.5 percent.
“Two new states (Ebonyi and Oyo) reported cases in week 39.
“The national multi-sectoral EOC activated at level 02 continues to coordinate the national response,” NCDC said.
According to the World Health Organisation, cholera is an acute diarrhoeal disease that can kill within hours if left untreated.
It said researchers have estimated that each year there are 1.3 to 4.0 million cases of cholera, and 21,000 to 143,000 deaths worldwide due to cholera.
“Most of those infected will have no or mild symptoms and can be successfully treated with oral rehydration solution.
“Severe cases will need rapid treatment with intravenous fluids and antibiotics. The provision of safe water and sanitation is critical to prevent and control the transmission of cholera and other waterborne diseases.
“Oral cholera vaccines should be used in conjunction with improvements in water and sanitation to control cholera outbreaks and for prevention in areas known to be high risk for cholera,” WHO said.
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