About 100,000 cases of cholera were recorded in Nigeria in 2021, the highest in recent times, the World Health Organisation said.
Nigeria had earlier in 2021 recorded 111,062 cases of cholera, with 3,604 deaths, figures exceeding the number of cases and deaths recorded in 2020 as released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
Dr. Walter Mulombo, WHO Country Representative in Nigeria, gave the figure at a training session on oral cholera vaccine requests and campaign planning organised by the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC).
The Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC) is an agency of the WHO.
In the global roadmap for cholera control, especially in endemic countries, he acknowledged the role of the GTFCC and its Country Support Platform (CSP).
WHO Country Representative in Nigeria explained that the agency had proved to be effective in the development of National Control Plans, that included vaccination and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities.
According to him, “We are mindful of the support by different partners and donors through the WHO, for the response.”
He added that it includes reactive vaccination with more than 1.7 million persons vaccinated with two doses each of Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV) in Bauchi, Jigawa, Yobe, and Zamfara states.
He believed that the recently approved GTFCC application for Nigeria would significantly mitigate the risk of and upsurge of cholera cases during this rainy season.
According to him, the application covers approximately nine million doses of OCV to implement two campaigns in 14 local government areas in nine states and the FCT.
He opined the need for speedy shipment and allocation of the vaccines to ensure early vaccination.
Dr. Walter Mulombo explained that Nigeria had demonstrated the capacity to implement vaccinations in difficult settings like insecurity, as experienced in two local government areas in Zamfara State.
According to him, the country had also addressed and improved vaccination data quality through the use of real-time reporting by campaign teams using handheld mobile phones.