Cholera outbreak claims 58 lives in north east Nigeria

Wednesday September 01 2021
General Hospital in Gwoza, Nigeria

Patients admitted to General Hospital in Gwoza, Nigeria, following a cholera outbreak in Borno state which has killed 58 people in the last one week. PHOTO | MOHAMMED MOMOH | NMG



At least 58 people have died of cholera in Borno, north east Nigeria, in the last one week, state Commissioner for Health Juliana Bitrus has confirmed.

She said that 559 cases of the disease have so far been documented.

Dr Bitrus said the outbreak was recorded in Gwoza, Kaga, Hawul, Magumeri, Damboa, Maiduguri metropolitan and Jere local government areas in Borno state, which shares a border with Chad and Cameroon.

Borno has also recorded over 45,000 deaths in terrorist attacks by Boko Haram insurgents since 2009.

The health commissioner reported on August 31, 2021 that 354 cholera cases and 34 deaths were recorded in Gwoza while Hawul recorded 126 cases and 11 deaths.


“The remaining are Kaga with 22 cases and two deaths, Magumeri with six cases and one death and Damboa with 39 cases and 10 deaths.

“Jere has eight cases with one death while Maiduguri has four cases with no death,” the commissioner said.

She said the government had directed all rapid response teams for disease surveillance and control in the affected councils to ensure timely response to all suspected cases.

“All secondary health facilities have been directed to create isolation wards for management of cholera cases,” Dr Bitrus said.

The commissioner urged the public to take precautionary measures by observing strict hygiene.

“People should observe precautionary measures like regular handwashing before eating and after visiting the toilet, covering of food and warming of leftover food before consumption,” she said.

She further urged the residents to treat water with aqua tablets or by chlorination, and ensure all those who died from the disease are buried in line with IPC protocols. 

The chairman of Gwoza Local Government Area (LGA) Ibrahim Bukar announced that about 34 people have died since August 28, 2021.

Prof Bukar said such development is part of challenges being faced by border communities due to lack of health and other facilities, saying the amenities were destroyed by insurgents.

“General hospital, clinics, customs and immigration houses, water and all other properties in the border communities have been destroyed by terrorists,” Prof Bukar said.

“Provision of clean water supply in all border communities is a top priority. Water-related diseases will be avoided when clean water is supplied to border communities. This is very necessary because most sources of water in the destroyed border communities have been polluted with corpses, chemicals…hence they are not good for human consumption,” he added.