By Bukar Bolori
The Federal Government has flagged off a national campaign on environmental response to combat the ongoing cholera outbreak in the country.
Flagging off the campaign on National Environmental Sanitation Response to Cholera Outbreak in Nigeria at Kubwa in Abuja on Monday, the Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar said the campaign was in response to growing and alarming rate of current cholera outbreak in the country, which the
situation report from Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) released on 17th August, 2021 leaves at a total number of 37,498 suspected cases including 1,149 deaths in 24 states and FCT.
He mentioned the state affected as Benue, Delta, Zamfara, Gombe, Bayelsa, Kogi, Sokoto, Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Kebbi, Cross River, Niger, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Yobe, Kwara, Enugu, Borno, Kastina, Adamawa, Taraba and FCT, Abuja) with increasing number of new cases in, Zamfara, Bauchi, Kano, Gombe, Plateau, and Niger.
Abubakar said: “It is against this background today’s event is being organised to flag off our response activities to the increasing rate of spread of Cholera cases across the country, sensitize the general public on cholera preventive and control measures to avert further outbreaks and strengthen collaboration with NCDC and other stakeholders in tackling the cholera scourge.”
He said: “With this flag off exercise of the National Environmental Sanitation Response Intervention to Cholera Outbreak in Kubwa, Abuja which is currently the epi-centre in the FCT, the Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with relevant stakeholders including Environmental Health Officer’s (EHO’s) in the states and local Government Areas has commenced the nationwide intervention response activities covering the following areas:
“Sanitary inspection of premises/Environmental Health Surveillance of hotspot communities; treatment of contaminated water sources/sites; strengthening capacity of Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) in the State Ministries of Environment and the affected LGAs; sanitary inspection of food business premises of affected communities; advocacy, sensitization and community town hall meetings on control of open defecation practices and its health impact.”
Other include: Sanitary inspection of Schools (Primary & Secondary) in affected communities; training of community volunteers on safe water handling, environmental sanitation and hygiene practices; and working with the State and Local Governments to ensure enforcement of relevant Environmental Sanitation Laws, Standards, Regulations and Guidelines in all the communities.