Cholera, Lassa fever kill 3,804 Nigerians 

Wednesday January 19 2022
General Hospital in Gwoza, Nigeria

Patients admitted to General Hospital in Gwoza, Nigeria, following a cholera outbreak in Borno state. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control also confirmed 200 deaths from of Lassa fever in the country in 2022. PHOTO | MOHAMMED MOMOH | NMG



Nigeria has reported at least 3,804 deaths caused by cholera and Lassa fever in 2021.  

The country recorded 3,604 deaths and 111,062 cases of cholera in 2021 and recorded 200 deaths from Lassa fever in 2022 despite efforts to boost sanitation and health. 

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said Monday that only Anambra, Edo and Imo states that had not reported any cases of cholera, out of the nation’s 36 states. The data was released during the launch of its 52nd epidemiological and last report for 2021 in Abuja.

The report further indicated that 33 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were ravaged by cholera. 

“These are Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Enugu, the FCT, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Kebbi. 


“Others are Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Rivers and Zamfara,’’ it said. 

The NCDC said children aged between five and fourteen years are the most affected.

A breakdown showed that the cases were reported as follows in different states: Bauchi (19,558), Jigawa (15,141), Kano (12,116), and Zamfara (11,931), accounting for 53 per cent of all cumulative cases. 

“Eleven LGAs across five states of Bauchi (four), Zamfara (four), Kano (one), Katsina (one) and Borno (one) reported more than 1,000 cases each in the year,” the report said. 

The centre said that 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 were some of the challenges it encountered. 

Other challenges included inadequate vaccines to cover all LGAs, wards and settlements with cholera outbreaks, inadequate health facility infrastructure, and cholera commodities for management of patients (Ringer’s lactate and ORS), inadequate trained personnel in states for case management, and poor and inconsistent reporting from states. 

The agency promised to “develop state level preparedness and response plans and maintain communication with and support to states for data reporting and response. 

“The centre will also develop and submit cholera vaccination request to the International Coordinating Group and the Global Task Force for Cholera Control for reactive and preventive cholera campaign with the NPHCDA, continue advocacy to state governments to increase funding in WASH infrastructure and pre-position response commodities across states. 

“It will build capacity for sample collection, transportation and laboratory diagnosis; planned after action review, planned review of the National Strategic Plan of Action on Cholera Control and scale up risk communications.” 

It advised Nigerians to take improve hygiene to eradicate such diseases as cholera. 

“Hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of infectious diseases like Lassa fever, Covid-19 and Cholera. 

“We encourage the practice of regular hand hygiene to stay healthy,” it advised. 

Cholera is a waterborne disease and the risk of transmission is higher when there is poor sanitation and disruption of clean water supply. 

NCDC also confirmed 200 deaths from of Lassa fever in the country in 2022. 

This is according to the NCDC’s epidemiological report for January 3 to January 9 published on the agency’s website. 

According to the update, the new cases were confirmed in 10 states and 22 local government areas in Nigeria.