Cholera Epidemic: 28 die in Bauchi

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From AISHA RABO, Abuja

No fewer than 28 people were killed following the outbreak of cholera in Bauchi State in 2018. The deaths occurred out of the 9,725 cholera cases recorded in the state within the same period.

The figure was contained in the document of a campaign tagged, ‘Driving political will to end cholera in Bauchi State’, released by the Society for Water and Sanitation supported by WaterAid Nigeria in commemoration of the 2019 World Toilet Day in Bauchi yesterday. According to the document, 16 out of the 20 wards and eight other local government areas recorded at least one case of cholera.

It read, “The recurrent outbreak of cholera in Bauchi State is largely attributed to indiscriminate waste (solid and liquid) disposal, inadequate clean water supply within the Bauchi metropolis and its environs and poor hygiene practices.

“Provision of safe water and sanitation, among other things, is critical to controlling the transmission of cholera, ending the epidemic and other waterborne diseases.”

It added that certain risk factors generally identified could increase transmission or outbreak of cholera in Bauchi State. Some of the factors, according to the document, include limited access to safe water from the public water supply system, broken pipes and leakages, prevalent poor hygiene practices, open defecation, and indiscriminate refuse dump sites and unprotected wells as major sources of drinking water.

“To have a cholera free state, we ask the government to review relevant state policies and budgets to adequately reflect cholera prevention strategies as well as update and implement cholera prevention plans and ensure allocated funds for cholera prevention are released and implemented accordingly to reduce over-dependence on donor agencies.

“Strengthen capacities of urban, small towns and rural public water supply networks to contribute to capacity development for cholera prevention and ensure routine sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions are provided in cholera hotspot communities and affected LGAs, especially those with epidemic trends,” it stated.

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