June 10, 2023

About 56 children have died in the ongoing cholera and measles outbreak in Borno and Kano states.

While cholera is said to have killed 50 in Borno, measles is said to have claimed six lives in Kano.

Residents in the affected communities and stakeholders in the sector are thus calling on the state governments to quickly arrest the spread of the diseases.

Residents in Kiru Local Government Area of Kano State on Monday said that 17 children had died of measles and whooping cough in their communities.

Our correspondent gathered that six   children were also affected in Dashi community of Kiru local government area. The children affected, according to the villagers,  were in Kankwana and Dashi communities in Dangora ward of the local government area.

A council health official, Mallam Hassan Adamu, who confirmed the outbreak, said efforts were in progress to provide immediate medical support to the affected communities.

Although the state government had yet to confirm the number of the casualties, a World Health Organisation representative, Mallam Yakubu Sani, attributed the outbreak to poor routine immunisation, as well as inadequate health mobilisation activity in the rural communities.

A villager within the community, Abdullahi Rufai Kiru, claimed that over 40 children had so far been affected.

To this end, the District Head of Kiru, Alhaji lbrahim Bayero, has already paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased, urging the state government to deploy medical personnel to the affected areas for immediate intervention.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Children’s Fund has said that the cholera outbreak has been arrested.

Speaking in Maiduguri during this year’s celebration of the Hand-washing Day, the Field Officer of UNICEF in Borno State, Geoffrey Ijumba, said for the past one week no new death had been recorded.

He said as simply as it might seem, routine hand-washing with water and soap had saved many lives as it had checkmated “water borne diseases”.

Ijumba stated that UNICEF in conjunction with the Borno State Government and other stakeholders had gone out to provide hand solar and motorised water pumps.

The Borno State Commissioner for Water Resources, Dr. Zainab Gimba, who also spoke on the occasion, attributed the cholera outbreak to poor hygiene practices among the people living in urban and rural centres of the state.

She encouraged residents to wash their hands before eating at home and public gatherings.

She said the state government had targeted 70 per cent of houses and 100 per cent of schools with hygiene sanitation facilities by the 2025.

She noted that significant progress had been made in water and sanitation services in IDP camps and host communities.


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