At Least 20 people have been killed and 30 hospitalized in an outbreak of cholera in Nigeria’s southern Cross River state, officials said on Sunday.
The Head of Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Janet Ekpeyong, told reporters in Calabar, the state capital, that the local authorities have launched an investigation into the outbreak recorded across 10 villages in the Abi local government area of the state between Thursday and Saturday.
“We are applying every possible means to halt transmission as we have gone across the community sensitizing the people on possible ways of managing the disease”, she said.
She added that human and material resources have been deployed to the affected villages to prevent the further spread of the highly virulent disease.
The officials said that the deaths could have been avoided if protocols were followed in the affected villages.
As a measure to manage the outbreak, Ekpeyong said the government had so far established communication with the community leaders to ensure their communities adhere to hygiene protocols to end cholera and other related illnesses in that part of the country.
The Nigerian Red Cross and experts on the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene program earlier launched by the Nigerian government were on the ground to provide support to the residents of the affected villages.
Cholera is characterized in its most severe form by the sudden onset of acute watery diarrhoea that can lead to death by severe dehydration.
The cholera outbreak is frequently reported in Nigeria due to a lack of potable water supply, especially in densely populated areas.