By Hassan Zaggi
Following the outbreak of cholera in some parts of Adamawa state in May this year, the World Health Organisation (WHO), is leading other partners to halt the disease in the state through the administering of Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV).
According to experts, cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera and remains a global threat to public health.
The first round of the 2-phase OCV campaign which is the first of its kind since the creation of Adamawa State, kicked-off in high-risk wards of Mubi North, Mubi South and Maiha local government areas (LGAs) yesterday. It will last till June 17.
Over 750,000 doses of OCV has since been released by International Coordinating Group (ICG).
With funding support from GAVI Alliance, WHO is providing technical support to the health authorities at the state, LGA and communities levels in Adamawa state to ensure quality implementation of the vaccination exercise.
Speaking, the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative to Nigeria, Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu, explained that: “As part of its health emergencies response strategy, WHO is leading other health partners to support the health authorities control the ongoing cholera outbreak in Adamawa state.
“Although, new cases are still being reported through the WHO-led active house-to-house search, it is hoped that the cholera vaccination campaign will help to reduce transmission in the remaining areas of Maiha, Mubi North and Mubi South LGAs.”
Earlier, in preparatory for the campaign, WHO in collaboration with Adamawa state Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and partners, developed micro plans for the campaign, trained and engaged more than 2,200 personnel including 303 vaccination teams, 275 supervisors, recorders and community engagers respectively.
The initial batch of 378 815 doses of the vaccine has since been delivered to Nigeria for the first round of the campaign while vaccines for the second round will be released based on successful implementation and report of the first round.
On her part, the Adamawa State Commissioner for Health, Dr Fatima Abubakar, noted that: “Since the confirmation of cholera outbreak in parts of Mubi North and Mubi South LGAs of Adamawa state on 12 May 2018, a swift outbreak response, including active house-to-house case search, case management and WASH activities are being implemented to ensure the outbreak is controlled timely.
“Although more than 1,500 cases have been reported including 25 deaths, transmission is limited to few areas of the affected LGAs. An oral cholera vaccination campaign at this point will help to stem the tide of transmission in the remaining hot spots.”