FG Initiates Water Quality Analysis to Combat Nigeria’s Cholera Outbreak

The health ministry said it would continue to provide updates in collaboration with NCDC as the situation evolves.

The Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation has initiated a water quality analysis following a cholera outbreak that has resulted in the deaths of 30 people across several states. Aliyu Shinkafi, the permanent secretary of the water resources ministry, said Thursday that this was necessary following continued reports of an outbreak in many parts of the country.

According to him, the ministry’s concern highlights the severity of this waterborne disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which is spreading rapidly through contaminated water or food. He said the symptoms of cholera include vomiting, severe dehydration, and diarrhea, which can be fatal if not treated promptly.

Mr Shinkafi said, “In response to the outbreak, teams from the National Water Quality Reference Laboratories in Lagos, Enugu, and Sokoto have been dispatched to collect water samples and investigate the presence of Vibrio cholerae in the affected areas.

“Additionally, the ministry is coordinating with State Technical Working Groups and Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agencies (RUWASSAs) through the WASH in Emergency Technical Working Group (WiETWG) to address the outbreak comprehensively.”

Mr Shinkafi said before the outbreak, the National WASH in Emergency Technical Working Group had already trained state working groups on preparedness, prevention, response strategies, hygiene promotion, and water safety planning.He said these states have now intensified their community sensitisation efforts to reduce cholera cases and are promoting campaigns against open defecation, a known transmission route for the disease.

He, however, urged Nigerians to take precautions to protect themselves and their families by boiling or treating drinking water before consumption.

The permanent secretary called on all Nigerians to wash hands with soap under clean, running water regularly, especially before eating and after using the toilet. He said the ministry would continue to provide updates in collaboration with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as the situation evolves.

“Let’s wash fruits and vegetables with safe water and salt before eating. Let’s also seek medical attention immediately if experiencing symptoms of cholera, such as vomiting, severe dehydration, and diarrhoea,” Mr Shinkafi explained. “Together, we can overcome this challenge and prevent further loss of lives.”(NAN)

 

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