By Rabiu Sani
Maiduguri – A medical practitioner, Dr Sale Abba, has stressed the need for proactive measures to check the spate of persistent cholera outbreak in Borno.
Abba told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri on Wednesday that persistent manifestation of cholera in the state was ‘worrisome’, in view of causalities from the disease.
Abba, also the Coordinator of a Non-Governmental Organisation, Smile Healthcare Mission, attributed the cholera outbreak to the lack of potable water, sanitation and hygiene at Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps and communities in Borno.
He said “we are dealing with cholera epidemic not only outbreak. We face it almost every year in the past five years.
“Cholera is endemic and it has to be tackled not through the knee-jerk response but through proactive measures.
“The disease is preventable, it does not speak well of Borno and the country to periodically record outbreak.
“Cholera outbreak is a negative indicator for family and environmental health as well as social and economic development.”
On activities to contain the disease, Abba said the NGO conducted hand washing sensitisation to 10,000 displaced children at Muna Garage IDPs camp, Maiduguri.
He added that the organisation had also cleared waste sites and latrines, as well as provided nutritional foods and drugs to
IDPs camp clinics.
“The gesture is to augment government efforts to combat the disease and improve nutritional intake of displaced children,” he said.
Meanwhile, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said about 23 people died of cholera and over 530 others infected in the past four weeks in Borno.
Cholera outbreak was reported at IDPs camps in Maiduguri, Dikwa and Monguno local governments of the state.
Medecins Sans Frontieres, in collaboration with Borno Government, had established a 140-bed capacity Cholera Treatment Unit (CTU) at Dala Area of Maiduguri and Monguno, while an Oral Rehydration Point (ORP) was set up at Muna IDP camp.
The international organisation had also conducted community sensitisation on sanitation and preventive tips of the disease. (NAN)