Health Regional News

Cholera outbreak in Nigeria and Niger: Thousands have died and thousands more are sick

The cholera outbreak in Nigeria and Niger has already killed thousands of people and thousands more are ill.

And neighbouring country Chad is taking every precaution to prevent the outbreak reaching it.

In Niger, the latest report puts the death figure at 100 in four months, with 2,874 sick.

The outbreak has hit six of Niger’s eight regions – the capital Niamey, Tahoua in the northwest, Dosso in the southwest, Maradi in the south, Zinder in the southeast and Tillaberi in the west – and it continues to gain ground.

In Nigeria, the disease has been raging for more than six months with 100 people dying in the Niger State in the west. The state’s health commissioner, Muhammad Makusidi, said the disease had reached five local government areas since the beginning of September.

He attributed the outbreak to open defecation and indiscriminate waste disposal.

An estimated 65,145 people have been affected by the disease and more than 2,000 have died in the country since January.

The disease rages every year in these so-called endemic countries where access to clean drinking water remains a challenge. Only 14% of the estimated population of more than 200 million have access to a safe drinking water.

The disease continues to rage and has started to reach neighbouring countries.

In Mali, two suspected cases of cholera have been detected in Ansongo, in the region of Gao, near the border with Niger.

The spread of the disease is starting to worry neighbouring countries that have not been affected.

In Chad, in a virtual meeting hosted by Dr Abdoulaye Saber Fadoul, the Minister of Public Health and National Solidarity, on Thursday, September 17, it was agreed that every necessary step should be taken to thwart an outbreak of cholera.

Among the measures health authorities agreed to was the delivery of cholera treatment kits to the border provinces of Lac and Kanem. There would also be awareness campaigns about the need for cleanliness, including frequent hand washing.

Dr Jean Bosco Ndihokubwayo, the World Health Organisation’s representative in Chad, attended the meeting. He promised that Chad would get the organisation’s full support in the fight against an outbreak.

In 2017, an outbreak of cholera in Chad resulted in 450 cases and 59 deaths, with a case fatality rate of 13% in Sila and Salamat.

In 2011, the disease affected 11,000 people, killing 400 people.

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