Suspected cases of cholera have risen sharply from 604 to 698 within 72 hours in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. 60 persons have also died from the viral disease.
The Minister of State for FCT, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, made the disclosure on Thursday at a sensitisation campaign against cholera and other acute diarrhoea diseases.
The FCT administration took the community sensitisation to Pyakasa and Gwagwa communities as the death toll rose from 54 to 60.
Represented by Dr Iwot Ndaeyo, the acting Executive Secretary of FCT Primary Health Care Board, the minister said that Abaji Area Council also recorded three suspected cases with no death.
She said that “Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) recorded 281 suspected cases with 22 deaths and Bwari Area Council recorded 134 suspected cases with 22 deaths.
“In Gwagwalada Area Council, 220 suspected cases with nine deaths were recorded, Kuje Area Council had 23 suspected cases with four deaths and Kwali Area Council recorded 37 suspected cases with three deaths.”
Ms Aliyu described the ugly trend as “unacceptable in the FCT”, adding that “the administration would not fold its hands and watch residents die helplessly over preventable diseases.
“We must take every necessary step to curb further spread.”
She urged FCT residents and critical stakeholders to publicise the message of cholera prevention, proper sanitation with the practice of hand hygiene in their respective communities.
Earlier, the Chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Abdullahi Candido, affirmed the council’s commitment to forestall continuous spread of the disease to adjoining and other communities.
He said the Primary Health Care Department of the council had embarked on sensitisation to
the four chiefdoms in AMAC to enlighten the traditional rulers and their councils about the cholera outbreak and preventive measures.
He added that “on our part as an area council, we swung into action immediately when we received the news of the outbreak and its confirmation in June.
“We quickly mobilised our health personnel in our primary healthcare facilities for prompt responses.
“Following the recommendations from the outbreak report, we provided funds for quick purchase of drugs, infusions and other treatment materials and consumables, in addition to the ones we received from
the FCT Public Health Department.”
Mr Candido noted that “the Disease Control Unit of our Primary Health Care Department through Disease Surveillance Notification Officers, had been working tirelessly in different communities of the council, including the hard-to-reach fields.
“This will enable the officers to trace and report cases at the primary healthcare facilities for free treatment.”
He, therefore, commended the professional competence, commitment and zeal of the council’s health workers and the Health and Human Services Secretariat of the FCTA in combating the life threatening disease.