The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has announced a total of 922 suspected cases of cholera, including 32 deaths, so far in 2023.
The NCDC disclosed this in its latest Cholera Situation weekly epidemiological report for week nine posted on its official website on Tuesday.
The report revealed that 12 states across 32 Local Government Areas have reported the suspected cases, with a case fatality ratio of 3.5 per cent.
Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with Vibrio cholerae bacteria. People can get sick when they swallow food or water contaminated with cholera bacteria. The infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe and life-threatening.
According to the World Health Organisation, at least 24 countries continue to report cholera cases. Regarding historical transmission patterns and seasonality, large parts of the world are currently in low or interepidemic transmission periods, therefore this number could increase in the months to come.
In Nigeria, cholera is an endemic and seasonal disease, occurring annually mostly during the rainy season and more often in areas with poor sanitation.
The 12 states reporting cases in the country are Abia, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Ebonyi, Kano, Katsina, Niger, Ondo, Osun, Sokoto, and Zamfara.
The report read in part, “Of the suspected cases since the beginning of the year, the age group >45 years is the most affected age group for male and female. Of all suspected cases, 54 per cent are males and 46 per cent are females.
“Six states – Cross River (647 cases), Ebonyi (97 cases), Abia (72 cases), Niger (38 cases), and Zamfara (28 cases) account for 96% of all cumulative cases.
“Fifteen LGAs across nine states Ebonyi (4), Cross River (3), Ondo (2), Bayelsa (1), Abia (1), Katsina (1), Sokoto (1) Niger (1) and Zamfara (1), reported more than five cases each this year.”
The NCDC reported that there is difficulty in accessing some communities due to security concerns, open defecation in affected communities, lack of potable drinking water in some rural areas and urban slums, and poor hygiene practices in most cholera-affected communities.
Other challenges are inadequate health facility infrastructure and cholera commodities for the management of patients, inadequately trained personnel in states for case management, and poor and inconsistent reporting from states