Death toll has risen to 17 in Niger and Kogi states in the last five days with a reported case of 72 victims in the two states.
Two deaths were recorded in Lokoja, Kogi State, over the weekend while the Niger State Ministry of Health on Monday reported that 15 people lost their lives in Bida Local Government Area of Niger State.
While speaking with our correspondent, an Epidemiologist with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Yennan Sebastin, said, “We had a rapid diagnostic test which confirmed cholera within Lokoja metropolis, a total of 13 suspected cases, three of them positive and two have died so far,” he said.
Asked what the NCDC was doing to curtail the outbreak of cholera in the country, Sebastin said the job of the disease control body was the plan before the outbreak of an epidemic.
He said, “We engage the stakeholders on the issue of pre-epidemics, during epidemics and post epidemics planning which involve the positioning of the requirements of consumables that will address the issue as regards surveillance, early detection, and reporting of cases of suspected cholera.
He also noted that the NCDC tried to make sure states have cholera treatments centres, as well as to supply consumables to support the case treatment.
“We are also into laboratory capacity building where we have the national reference lab for cholera diagnosis in Abuja and Yaba, Lagos.
Sabastian stressed that the NCDC had begun cholera vaccination which, he said, was a new thing that had come into the prevention of the epidemic.
“It is done in collaboration with the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency. We test-run cholera vaccination in Borno State in November last year, and we have done it in Yobe and Bauchi states this year and we are starting the second phase in those two states next week.”