Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Cholera kills over 2,300 in Nigeria's worst outbreak in years

 Cholera has killed more than 2,300 people and infected thousands more, mostly children, in Nigeria since the start of the year, a senior health official said on Monday, in the nation's worst outbreak in years.

AFP

Africa's most populous nation suffers from a high rate of water-borne diseases as a result of dilapidated infrastructure and under-investment.`

"As at September 5, 2021, a total of 69,925 suspected cases, including 2,323 deaths, have been reported," Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) head of communications, Yahya Disu, told AFP.

Health sector sources said this year’s outbreak, with a higher fatality rate than the previous four years, was worsened by the priority given to the coronavirus epidemic. Covid-19 has infected more than 200,000 people in Nigeria and claimed 2,655 lives since February 2020.

Disu said the cases were reported in 25 of Nigeria's 36 states and the capital, Abuja.

Children aged between five and 14 were the most affected, he said, adding that the 19 northern states accounted for 98 percent of infections.

"Three northern states -- Bauchi, Kano and Jigawa -- account for 52 percent of cases," he added.

Disu said heavy flooding, poor sanitation and climate change could have accounted for the surge in cholera outbreaks in the country this year.

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