Chronicling Cholera’s Carnage Part 2

Continuing from last post, it’s evident that the sheer scale of the reported number of lives lost to cholera outbreaks from 2007 – 2013 is a show of the public health burden that food-borne illness places on Nigeria. Again, I need to mention that the mortality and incident reports below and in the previous posts are not official government statistics, they are media reports nevertheless they are good indications of the scale of the problem.

The problem of food-borne illness is real, very real, even if it’s not getting the attention it deserves in public discourse and government policy making when compared to the attention other public health issues like Cancer, Malaria & HIV/AIDS get. A lot of work needs to be done, a lot of ground needs to be covered in reducing the public health burden of food-borne illness in this country starting from creating more awareness about the existence of the problem and encouraging discussion in the public domain about it.

All Reports Sourced From: Safe Food International

January 2009 – At least 3 people were killed and 35 others hospitalized following the suspected outbreak of cholera at Dokogi village in Nigeria’s Niger state, the News Agency of Nigeria reported on Sunday [11 Jan 2009]. The villagers had alerted the authorities after a resident died from diarrhea and vomiting. An eyewitness claimed that more people reported their cases as the situation worsened, leading to the death of 2 more people. He said the council later mobilized its medical personnel, including those of the Federal Medical Center, Bida, to control the spread of the disease.

January 2009 – No fewer than 27 children between the ages of 4 and 10 years were reported dead on Tuesday [14 Jan 2009] at Ndiagu-Anagu in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State as a result of suspected outbreak of severe gastroenteritis, otherwise known as cholera.According to a reliable source, the mysterious deaths which started few weeks ago have ravaged the rural community where children between the ages of 1 to 10 years were said to have been affected and are in critical condition.

January 2009 – Sunday Nwangele, Ebonyi state commissioner for health announced in Abakaliki that 6 of the dead were male and 9 female including 5 children. He attributed the outbreak, which infected some 120 persons, to intake of contaminated water following the breakdown of the three boreholes in the area.Local last week [week of 12 Jan 2009] reported that at least 41 children died of gastroenteritis in another community in southeastern Nigeria’s Ebonyi State. The disease was said to have started some weeks ago and to have gradually grown into epidemic with children between one to 10 being the most affected, with some in critical condition.

August 2009 – A cholera outbreak has claimed 39 lives in northern Nigeria’s Adamawa state in the past week, a senior local official said on Tuesday [18 Aug 2009].
The official was quoted as saying the outbreak killed a family, including a 52-year-old man, his wife and child, and that 36 other people also died.

August 2009 – A cholera outbreak in Adamawa State, northern Nigeria has killed 13 more people, taking the death toll to 52, the health commissioner said on Saturday. 39 people were reported killed by the disease in Maiha, according to a local government official. He said “scores of people” had been hospitalized as a result of the disease, stressing that an ongoing strike by medical workers in the state was hampering efforts to assist the sick.

September 2009 – At least 76 persons have been confirmed dead from a suspected outbreak of an epidemic of cholera in about 7 local government councils of Adamawa state.
The disease, which manifests with symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, and mild fever, is ravaging communities in 7 local government areas of Mubi, north and south, Maiha, Michika, Madagali, Girie, and Hong in the northern part of the state.
So far, 76 people have died, while 846 are receiving treatment at the various state health establishments.

September 2009 – Nine people died and several others were hospitalized this week following a cholera outbreak in Nigeria’s northern Taraba State, bringing the death toll in the region to 97, an official was quoted as saying.
On Wednesday [31 Sep 2009] health officials in Jigawa State, also in the region, announced the death of 11 people following an outbreak of cholera in Bashuri village where 400 cases emerged in under a fortnight.
Cholera has claimed 77 lives in recent weeks in Adamawa State, leaving nearly 1000 people hospitalized.

September 2009 – 23 of the 600 people who recently contracted cholera in the Biu Local Government area of Borno State are dead, the director of disease control in the Borno State ministry of health was quoted as saying. A source at the ministry of health said the disease has spread to 6 out of the 9 local government areas of southern Borno. The state has also recorded a total of 32 death from it.

October 2009 – Some 300 people died and many more are hospitalized due to an outbreak of cholera reported since mid-month in Adamawa State in northern Nigeria, sources were quoted as saying.

October 2009 – The toll in a cholera outbreak in northern Nigeria rose to 149 Friday [16 Oct 2009] with 52 more deaths, a provincial health official said. He said Biu local government on the border with Chad was the worst affected area where 650 were infected, forcing health officials to open a camp for the victims.

October 2009 – Cholera has claimed 77 lives in recent weeks in Adamawa State, leaving nearly 1000 people hospitalized.

October 2009 – Late September 2009, officials in Jigawa State announced the death of 11 people in a cholera outbreak which affected 400 others at a village outside the state capital.

October 2009 – In Taraba state, a neighbor of Adamawa, another cholera outbreak killed 9 people and infected 120 others.

November 2009 – A fresh cholera outbreak has killed 20 people and left 200 others infected in northern Nigeria’s Adamawa State in the past week, a senior health official said Wednesday [4 Nov 2009]. The latest deaths take to 169 the number of those killed by the disease in 4 northern states, Adamawa, Jigawa, Taraba, and Borno, in the past 3 months.

January 2010 – Six persons were confirmed dead on 18 Jan 2010, while 78 others were hospitalized following an outbreak of cholera at Opobo town in Opobo/Nkoro Local Government of Rivers State.

August 2011 – Cases of cholera have been reported in Oyo State, with 4 deaths and 16 hospitalizations.

August 2011 – The people of Osun State are living in fear due to the outbreak of cholera that has claimed 8 lives in the state. It has been reported that there are no medical officials that could come aid the people because of the ongoing strike by medical practitioners in the state.

September 2011 – The Health Commissioner announced that 6 deaths from cholera in the past 2 weeks that infected 182 people. Local media reports 234 deaths occurred in 15 Nigerian states in 2011. The rainy seasons are generally responsible for the occurrence of the disease in Nigeria.

June 2013 – The Nigerian Ministry of Health reports, that in the second week of June, 2013, there were 22 new cases of cholera in the country: seven cholera cases were suspected in Kwara, and 15 cases were reported in Kaduna and Zamfara. No deaths were reported.

August 2013 – Cholera is endemic in Ogun State, Nigeria, and outbreaks are common in the rainy season; this summer is no exception. In the month of July, outbreaks have been confirmed throughout the state including 104 cases in Soyinka, 76 cases in Abeokuta South, 25 cases in Abeokuta North, 2 cases in Odeda, and 1 case in Obafemi Owode. In total, three deaths have been recorded. Government health officials have implemented control efforts to contain the epidemic, but outbreaks show little sign of slowing.

September 2013 – Nigeria regularly experiences cholera outbreaks during the rainy season, and 2013 has been no different. Currently, 8 people have died from the disease in Oyo State, while 10 more are hospitalized with the disease. Nigeria’s sanitation infrastructure is often overwhelmed by rainy seasons rains, spreading contaminated water.

October 2013 – States across Nigeria have begun to report new cases of cholera, overwhelming hospitals and raising concern for large-scale casualties. In the past two weeks, Zamfara case has recorded 1,117 cases of the disease and 72 deaths. Sources caution that these numbers are underestimations, and do not properly reflect the extent of the outbreak in Zamfara; other states, such as Gusau and Zurmi, Maradun and Bakura, report as many as 90 new cases a day, per state—although such reports are unconfirmed by government sources.

October 2013 – As many as 130 people are ill, and two have died, as a recent cholera outbreak continues in Zamfara, Nigeria, reports Doctors without Borders.


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