FG embarks on nationwide intervention response activities to cholera outbreak

Dr Mohammad Abubakar, Minister of Environment

The Federal Government will soon inaugurate a National Environmental Sanitation Response Intervention to the Cholera Outbreak in Kubwa, Abuja, currently the epi-centre in the FCT.

Dr Mohammad Abubakar, Minister of Environment, disclosed this in Abuja while briefing Journalists on the cholera outbreak.

Abubakar said the latest situation report from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), released on Aug. 10, 2021, showed a total of 33,661 suspected cases and 938 deaths in 22 States and the FCT.

He said the ministry in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including Environmental Health Officer (EHO’s) in States and Local Government Areas, would embark on nationwide intervention response activities.

He also said that sanitation desks had been activated in the 36 State offices of the ministry, including the FCT, for effective response to the outbreak.

He, therefore, urged the various State heads of desks to carry out environmental sanitation activities to contain the outbreak.

“The purpose of this briefing is to sensitise the media and general public to the cholera outbreak in the country and the efforts being made by the ministry to contain the scourge.

“As you are aware, Nigeria is currently experiencing a cholera outbreak in several parts of the country with reported cases of fatalities.

“The ministry had requested the EHOs in the States and local governments across the country to intensify sanitary inspection of premises and abatement of nuisances.

“The ministry, with the relevant stakeholders in the States and local government areas, will embark on nationwide intervention response activities covering areas such as sanitary inspection of premises and environmental health surveillance of hotspot communities.

“Sanitary inspection of schools, primary and secondary, in affected communities as well as training of community volunteers on safe water handling, environmental sanitation and hygiene practices.

“Also, sanitary inspection of food business premises of affected communities, advocacy, sensitisation and community town hall meetings on control of open defecation practices and its health impact, among others.”

Abubakar urged all levels of government, including the Commissioners of Environment across the country, to step up sanitation and hygiene programmes to control and prevent further spread of cholera.

He also gave assurance that the ministry remained committed to ensuring a clean and healthy environment for all Nigerians.

According to him, this is a collective responsibility which requires the concerted efforts of all and sundry.

“This is the only way we can prevent and curtail incidences of cholera outbreak and other communicable diseases.

“I, therefore, call on all members of the public to keep their environments clean.

“l urge all media organisations to join the ministry and other stakeholders in controlling and preventing the spread of the outbreak, by sensitising and educating the public to cholera preventive and control measures,” Abubakar said.

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