A cholera outbreak has been declared in Yobe State, north-east Nigeria, by the State Ministry of Health, two weeks after a cholera outbreak was declared in neighboring Borno State.
The cumulative number of recorded cases in both states currently stands at 3,126 including 97 deaths.
In Yobe State a total of 989 cases of suspected cholera have been recorded in five local government areas (LGAs), including 61 deaths, as of 20 September 2018. This represents a case fatality rate of 6.2 per cent.
In Borno State a total of 2,137 cases of suspected cholera have been recorded in eight LGAs, including 36 deaths, as of 20 September 2018. This represents a fatality rate of 1.6 per cent.
The Response & the Needs
A key challenge in Yobe State is poor accessibility to some of the affected LGAs and lack of communication networks, for example in Gulani and Gubja LGAs.
Health partners and community mobilisers have visited thousands of households in both states in recent days as part of the active case search, to encourage individuals with cholera-like symptoms to be screened.
In Borno State a 100-bed Cholera Treatment Centre (CTC) is operational in Dala (a locality in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council), and in Magumeri LGA a Cholera Treatment Unit (CTU) is operating from an existing health facility. Another CTC, with a 20-bed capacity, in Dalaram locality (in MMC) has been set up. In Yobe State however the situation is dire, and more facilities are required to deal with the outbreak. There is currently a CTU in Damataru, the capital of the state, and a new CTU has been established in the General Hospital in Damagum, Fune LGA.
Hygiene promotion activities, including mosque announcements and radio broadcasts in Marghi, Hausa, Kanuri and Shuwa, 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. There is also messaging on the dangers of open defecation.
In terms of sanitation, humanitarian organisations are working to dislodge and repair latrines in the affected camps for internally displaced people where the risk of transmission is high due to congested living conditions.
The State Ministry of Health, with the support of humanitarian partners, is coordinating the response through the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC).
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: