The Nigerian health ministry has blamed poor sanitation and shortage of
safe drinking water for the deadly outbreaks of cholera and
gastroenteritis in parts of northern Nigeria. A senior official
announced Friday that the crisis is now under control. Gilbert da Costa
in Abuja has this report for VOA.
United Nations agencies are
helping Nigerian authorities to deal with a virulent diarrhea outbreak
in northern Nigeria, where only a limited number of the population has
access to access to safe drinking water.
According to the
federal ministry of health, thousands of cases of cholera and
gastroenteritis have been identified in at least five states, with a
few cases also reported in at least three others.
director of the federal ministry of health, Dr. Abdul Nasidi, says
measures adopted to halt the spread of the diseases are now yielding
positive results. He says the situation has been brought under control
by local health authorities and medical teams sent to the areas.
confirmed cholera in one of the local governments in Sokoto, but the
others are being investigated. It is controlled already," said Dr.
Nasidi. "The states did very well, and we dispatched our own teams from
the federal. Everything is under control. We also worked with some
Authorities confirmed the death of more than 200
people from the outbreaks in the past four weeks, making it the worst
in several years.
Cholera is an intestinal bacteria that causes
serious diarrhea and vomiting leading to dehydration. With a short
incubation, it can be fatal if not treated in time. Gastroenteritis
shares the same characteristics.
Treating drinking water with chlorine and improving hygiene conditions can prevent the diseases.