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Cholera outbreak: Biosafety agency urges Nigerians to exercise caution

The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) is calling on the public to exercise caution over the recent cholera outbreak in some states across Nigeria.

Dr Agnes Asagbra
Dr Agnes Asagbra, Director-General, NBMA

In a statement made available to EnviroNews on Friday, June 14, 2024, the Director General of NBMA, Dr Agnes Yemisi Asagbra, said Nigerians must exercise caution as the nation records 30 deaths, and 1,141 suspected cases from the disease.

“As we approach the festive period of the Salah celebrations, it is of utmost importance that we collectively prioritize the health and safety of our communities,” she said.

Cholera, a highly contagious bacterial infection caused by the ingestion of contaminated food or water, has been reported in Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo, Nasarawa, and Lagos states.

Dr Asagbra said NBMA, in collaboration with health authorities, is actively monitoring the situation and implementing measures to contain the spread of the disease.

She also called on Nigerians to imbibe various hygiene practices such as “boiling drinking water or using certified water purification methods, washing hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially before eating or preparing food, and after using the toilet, cooking food thoroughly and consuming it while hot, avoiding raw foods such as fruits and vegetables unless they can be peeled or washed with safe water and keeping the environment clean while disposing of waste properly to prevent contamination.”

“NBMA urges all Nigerians to be vigilant and adhere to these hygiene practices to protect themselves and their loved ones from cholera. We also encourage community leaders and health workers to disseminate this information and assist in educating the public about preventive measures.”

She called on Nigerians to be alert and report any case of cholera to the nearest hospital. “If you or anyone you know exhibits symptoms of cholera, which include severe diarrhea, dehydration, and vomiting, seek urgent medical attention at the nearest hospital. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial.”

NBMA boss said the organisation is committed to safeguarding the health of the Nigerian people, adding: “Together, we can overcome this challenge and ensure a safe and healthy celebration for all.”

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