Delta Collaborates with NCDC to Curb Cholera Outbreak

By Jemimah Wellington, JKNMedia Reporter

DELTA GOVERNMENT notes that in partnership with the Nigeria Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), it has committed to stringent measures to combat the recent cholera outbreak in the state.

This assurance came from Dr. Joseph Onojaeme, the State Commissioner for Health, who highlighted the government’s proactive stance in addressing the health crisis.

Responding to questions about the state’s efforts, Dr. Onojaeme revealed that three outbreaks occurred in February, March, and June 2024, resulting in 118 reported cases but no fatalities.

He attributed the cholera spread primarily to waterborne transmission, particularly in riverine areas, and emphasized the importance of local government areas like Ughelli South, Warri South, Warri South-West, and Warri North.

Although Warri South-West currently has reported cases, the state has successfully contained the outbreaks in other areas through close collaboration with the NCDC.

Dr. Onojaeme stated, “We are working closely with the NCDC to provide necessary commodities for patients and conducting extensive advocacy. It’s crucial to spread the message that cholera is preventable.”

Dr. Mildred Okowa, the State Epidemiologist, explained that a multi-sectoral and multi-partner response is crucial for addressing the outbreak.

The Ministry of Health collaborates with the Ministries of Environment and Water Resources and engages community leaders to raise awareness, he said.

“Cholera is transmitted through contaminated food and water,” Dr. Okowa noted. “Practicing personal hygiene, such as washing hands with soap and clean water, and maintaining a clean environment are key preventive measures. We also condemn open defecation, which significantly contributes to the disease’s spread.”

Efforts in Warri South-West LGA include health promotion officers educating residents in local languages about cholera’s dangers and prevention methods.

Dr. Okowa highlighted various sensitization initiatives, including visits to schools, markets, places of worship, and public spaces.

The social mobilization unit has scheduled meetings with the State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria and traditional rulers.

Additionally, the unit leverages community radio, town hall meetings, and community dialogues to disseminate information on cholera prevention.

Ward Development Committee (WDC) members are also actively involved in these outreach efforts.

“Cholera is treatable, but immediate medical attention is vital for anyone experiencing watery diarrhea to prevent severe dehydration and potential death,” Dr. Okowa stressed.

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