Tayo Busayo, Abuja
DAILY COURIER – As Nigeria records 2,187 cases of cholera in 31 states with 233 deaths in nine months, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned that the country would continue to be at risk of cholera outbreaks along with the associated suffering and deaths unless there is improved access to potable water, sanitation and hygiene.
The director-general of NCDC, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, who gave the warning in a public health advisory yesterday, stressed that medical interventions alone were not sufficient to address the root causes of disease’s outbreaks.
He said the current outbreak had been exacerbated by limited access to clean water and sanitation facilities, open defecation, and poor hygiene practices.
Cholera is a waterborne disease, and the risk of transmission is higher in areas that lack adequate sanitation facilities and a regular supply of clean water.
“Unsafe practices such as improper disposal of refuse and open defecation endanger the safety of water used for drinking and personal use. These practices lead to the spread of water-borne diseases such as cholera.+++
“Without proper WASH, Nigeria will continue to be at risk of cholera outbreaks along with the associated suffering and deaths.
The long-term solution for cholera control lies in access to safe drinking water, maintenance of proper sanitation (especially the discontinuation of open defecation) and the practice of hygiene, Ifedayo said.
The DG has therefore, reiterated the need for State Governments to prioritise action for solutions that ensure access to and use of safe water, basic sanitation, and proper hygiene practices in communities.