Cholera Epidemic: FG in talks with Gavi over vaccine shortage -NCDC


•FEC approves inter-ministerial committee on emergency operations

•Lagos cholera cases hit 579


•Ogun assembly seeks inter-ministerial collaboration

•FCT minister tasks primary healthcare board against outbreak

This was disclosed by the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), Dr Jide Idris, in an on Tuesday in Abuja.

Idris noted that, recognising the urgent need for vaccines, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, has entered into discussions with Gavi.

He said, “Gavi, a global health partnership, plays a pivotal role in improving access to vaccines in low-income countries.

“Through these negotiations, Nigeria aims to secure an emergency supply of cholera vaccines to curb the outbreak.

“At present, cholera vaccines are not stocked in our public facilities, though they are available in limited quantities in the private sector.

“But vaccines alone are not the only preventative measures we have at the moment; we must also ensure environmental cleanliness and proper hand hygiene.”

He highlighted that globally, the demand for cholera vaccines has surged, leading to severe shortage.

“This limited supply has strained efforts to control outbreaks in endemic regions, including Nigeria.

He said the NCDC had intensified its public health campaigns, emphasising hygiene practices and the importance of clean water.

In response to the escalating cholera outbreak in 31 states of the federation, he said the NCDC had activated its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to coordinate national efforts to combat the disease.

This was as the Lagos State government said it had recorded

The Federal Executive Council on Tuesday approved an inter-ministerial committee to coordinate the cholera emergency operation centre operated by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Briefing correspondents after the meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Minister of Health, Muhammad Ali Pate, said the committee comprises representatives from the Federal Ministry of Health, Finance, Water Resources, Environment, Youth, Aviation and Education.

He said state governments are to ensure that Nigeria makes progress in reducing open defecation.

“The council then approved a cabinet committee comprising the Federal Ministries of Health, Ministry of Finance, Water Resources, Environment, Youth, Aviation, Education because some of our children will be returning to school.

“In addition to this, we will co-opt the state governments so that Nigeria makes progress in reducing open defecation, because cholera is a developmental issue that requires multi-sectoral approach.

“The president directed that cabinet committee be set up to oversee what the emergency operation centre led by NCDC is doing, and for the resources to be provided complemented by the state government.”

Pate also disclosed that at the moment, 31 states have recorded 1,528 cases in Nigeria with deaths.

“At the moment, about 31 states have recorded 1528 cases and 53 deaths in Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, the Lagos State says it has recorded a total of 579 suspected cases of cholera, 43 laboratory-confirmed cases and 29 cholera-related deaths.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, has said.

The Commissioner who disclosed this during a press briefing on the cholera outbreak in Lagos on Tuesday announced the adoption the One Health Strategy, an approach he said involves a collaborative response among relevant government agencies, including the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies in Health, Environment, Agriculture, Physical Planning, Education, and others. He said that the policy was aimed at promoting a unified effort in preventing and curbing the spread of the disease in Lagos communities.

Abayomi emphasized that the collaborative efforts between relevant agencies are a positive step towards preventing and controlling further spread of the disease, and that the state government remains committed to protecting the health and well-being of its citizens.

He said, “As part of activities to combat the spread of cholera and address the spike in cases, the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC) was activated.

“The activities of the PHEOC involve the adoption of the One Health Approach through relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of the Lagos State government.

“Officials from the Ministries of Health, Environmental and Water Resources, Education, Information and Strategy, Physical Planning, and Agriculture are working together under the PHEOC to curb the outbreak and prevent future occurrences.

The commissioner assured residents that the outbreak is well under control, and that the state had put in place an incident command structure led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

“We have unfortunately experienced 29 deaths. Most of these deaths were caused by patients presenting very late, at a stage when we could not resuscitate them due to severe dehydration. Some patients were actually brought in dead,” he added.

He said the state government had not concluded investigations into the possible source of the outbreak, but stressed that investigation was still ongoing.

Meanwhile, the Anambra State Ministry of Health says it has activated the state’s Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers across the 21 Local Government Areas in response to the cholera outbreak.

This proactive measure comes as neighboring states like Imo, Abia, and Delta have reported confirmed cases of cholera, prompting heightened vigilance in the state.

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Afam Obidike, emphasized the importance of early detection and prevention in managing outbreaks.

“Although Anambra has not yet reported any cases of cholera, the emergency response teams are actively conducting surveillance in all 21 LGAs to promptly identify and contain any potential cases,” he said.

He said public education campaigns are also underway to raise awareness about cholera and emphasize preventive measures within communities.

In the same vein, the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, has called on the FCT Primary Health Care Board to put in place precautionary measures to guard against the outbreak of cholera.

He made the call while taking briefs from the Director of the FCT Primary Health Care Board at the 190th FCT Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) held in her office.

Mahmoud, who expressed satisfaction over the absence of reported cases of the disease in the nation’s capital, however, warned that as the seat of government, all necessary measures should be put in place to avoid any outbreak of the disease.

“I am indeed delighted that no case of cholera has been reported in any of our primary healthcare centres across the six area councils in the FCT.

“However, that does not give us room to relax, because this is the seat of government. The FCT Primary Health Care Board should put in place measures to guard against any outbreak of the disease.

“By now, I was expecting the board to commence radio jingles in different major languages and sensitization programmes in our schools, markets, mosques and churches.

“We should not give room for the outbreak before we start fire brigade approach. That will not be acceptable,” she said.

On its part, the Ogun State House of Assembly has called on relevant government ministries, departments and agencies to collaborate with local government areas and the general populace on the need to take proactive measures towards containing the spread of the outbreak of cholera in the state.

The lawmakers, led by the Speaker, Honourable Oludaisi Elemide, made the call at a plenary held at Room 215 of the assembly complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, on Tuesday, which was being used temporarily in view of the ongoing renovation and reconstruction of the Assembly Chambers.

Elemide made the call while responding to the presentation of the chairman, House Committee on Health, Honourable Wahab Haruna, who spoke under personal explanation on the need for residents of the state to take necessary precautions to halt the spread of the epidemic.

He commended the state government for prompt intervention through purchase of necessary protective kits meant for the prevention of the spread, soliciting the collaboration of relevant MDAs and the Department of Public Health and sanitation at the local government areas.

Earlier, Honourable Haruna underscored the need to enforce compliance with public health precautions and promotion of hygiene by private food vendors to save the citizens.

In a related development, the assembly has congratulated the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on his emergence as the chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, following the meeting of the forum hosted by Ogun State on Monday.

Nigerian Tribune


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