Nigeria is battling cholera outbreak at the same time as the highly contagious Delta strain of coronavirus is posing a serious threat to the country.
More than half of the country’s 36 states have been hit by cholera outbreak and hundreds of victims have died, many of them children, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says. The outbreak has affected at least 22 out of Nigeria’s 36 states, including the capital, Abuja.
The dense population of some Nigerian cities as well as fatigue over preventative cautions were also contributing to the surge in Covid-19 infections.
According to the NCDC, the north of the country is being worst affected.
Nigeria’s weak healthcare system has been struggling to cope with the situation as doctors in public hospitals are on strike and Covid-19 cases keep increasing rapidly.
Devastating floods in some areas have also made things worse.
A strike by doctors in public hospitals was making matters even more difficult, the NCDC boss said
“There couldn’t be a worse time to have a strike at the moment,” he said, appealing for it to be called off.
The strike, over delayed salaries and allowances, has entered its second week.
The NCDC says it has deployed medical teams to help states deal with the spike in cholera cases.
But it says the government and the public must prioritise hygiene, basic sanitation and access to safe drinking water as part of long-term solutions.
The symptoms of the contagious disease include vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration. It can kill within hours if not treated.