As of August 2021, the Ministry of Health had reported 845 cases of cholera, including 35 deaths, in five regions of the country: Tahoua, Zinder, Niamey, Maradi, Dosso. A significant number, climbing to 2,211 cases on August 27, including 77 lives. While the ministry announced the removal of ten out of 28 active households across the country, the death rate has fallen from 3% to 4% since the epidemic started in March 2021, according to the ministry’s Directorate of Epidemiological Surveillance. But this Friday, September 3, 2021, statistics show 2,874 patients, including 104 deaths, this time in six of eight regions of the country, according to the ministry.
Growing concern in risk areas
Only the Diffa and Agadez regions are not yet affected. A worrying situation, especially since the regions that are hardest hit by this additional health crisis are borderline for the majority in Nigeria, including the Tillabéri region in western Niger, better known as the “three-border zone”. “. It is shared with Benin, Mali and Burkina Faso and covers an area of 97,251 km2. Unfortunately, it is the region that has been hardest hit by jihadist violence and is blatantly insecure due to its continued presence and destroyed infrastructure. It should be noted that the age group affected by the disease is in the range of 15 to 37 years. One of the causes is said to have been heavy rains since June, but also the ingestion of contaminated food and water. Experts expect an increase in the number of cases, since it is a very contagious pathology.
Awareness campaigns activated
In response to this serious health emergency, the Nigerian state is therefore intensifying its partnerships and awareness-raising efforts to eradicate the Vibrio cholerae bacteria (or comma bacteria), the source of this viral infection in the country. Niger quickly spread awareness campaigns and urged the entire population to wash their hands regularly after going to the toilet in order to preserve cooked foods like all other foods. Indeed, the state insists on the proper disinfection of water and food before consumption. With its decentralized administrative policy, the government has made available to the affected health districts: products to fight cholera, free treatment of cases and contact persons. The Nigerien government has also opened cholera treatment centers called UTC to intervene faster with patients at the first sign.