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Cholera outbreak kills 14 persons in Borno, 380 suspected cases recorded

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FOURTEEN people have been killed by cholera outbreak in Borno State.

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs ( UN OCHA), in a statement on Thursday, said 380 cases of suspected cholera in eight local government areas (LGAs) in the state has been recorded as of Wednesday.

“Since the outbreak started on 19 August 2018 the following cases have been recorded: Magumeri (139); Chibok (78); Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC) (67); Konduga (36); Kaga (28); Jere (18); Damboa (8) and Shani (6). The deaths are in Magumeri (4); MMC (3); Konduga (3); Chibok (3) and Kaga (1). Of the 380 cases, 250 people have already been treated, the majority with in-patient care, and discharged,” the statement read.

OCHA said the state’s ministry of health, with the support of humanitarian partners, is coordinating the response to the outbreak through the Emergency Operation Centre.

“A Cholera Treatment Centre (CTC) is already up and running in Dala (a locality in MMC), and in Magumeri LGA an isolation space to treat cholera has been set up in an existing health facility. A CTC is urgently needed in Chibok, and additional ambulances are required in all affected LGAs to transport those seeking treatment.”

OCHA said detecting and responding rapidly to suspected cases of cholera is vital to controlling outbreaks, which can spread rapidly in areas where access to safe water is limited and hygiene conditions are poor.

It pointed out that intense efforts by national and partner response teams in Borno State over the last two years, including the development of a cholera preparedness plan in 2018, have greatly strengthened surveillance and monitoring capacity, enabling early detection of outbreaks.

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“The most effective prevention measures against cholera are basic hygiene practices, including use of clean and safe water and proper sanitation.

“Some 200 community health champions are already actively searching for cases at household level in several LGAs. In addition, radio broadcasts in English, Hausa and Kanuri are underway in the affected LGAs to sensitize people to the risk of cholera, teach them how to prevent and manage diarrhea at home, and educate them on the use of chloride tablets for household water treatment and safe water storage.”

The Borno State has been the epicentre of nine-year-old bloody insurgency by the Boko Haram, fighting for Islamic Caliphate. More than two million people have been displaced by the crisis.

 

Chikezie can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @KezieOmeje

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