The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), says it has approved technical support to fight the cholera outbreak across Nigeria.
Dr Obi Adigwe, Director General NIPRD, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday, in Abuja, that following the approval, the Institute had completed a four-day capacity building workshop on the detection, isolation and identification of Vibrio cholerae from the environmental and clinical samples.
“This training, which took place from Sept 20th to 25th at NIPRD, was acknowledged as a powerful tool in curbing the raging cholera outbreak.
“As at 19th September 2021, a total of 81,413 suspected cases, including 2,791 deaths (CFR 3.4 per cent) have been reported from 28 states and the FCT.
“Of the suspected cases since the beginning of the year, age group 5 – 14 years is the most affected age group for male and female,” he added.
According to Adigwe, as part of the technical support and capacity building provided by NIPRD, laboratory scientists from the Ministry of Water Resources, Federal Ministry of Environment and states’ Public Health Laboratories across Nigeria, were trained on various complicated scientific techniques including sample collection, isolation and identification of Vibrio cholera and other Vibro species.
He noted that the rapid detection techniques and prompt reporting strategies were also topics addressed, which could help improve the containment of cholera epidemics.
Adigwe added that the inter-agency technical support and capacity building activity with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), was the latest collaborative initiative from the NIPRD aimed at improving access to healthcare for citizens.
He advised Nigerians to practice good environmental hygiene to prevent against cholera.
The NIPRD helmsman added that frequent outbreaks of infectious disease, such as cholera, could only be prevented if healthy environmental practices were adopted.
He cited these practices to include, avoiding open defecation, dumping of refuse only in designated areas, proper waste management and sewage disposal, were initiated and adopted by everyone.
Cholera is a water-borne disease which can be contracted through contaminated food and water. It can be prevented with safe water, safe food and good hygiene practices like hand washing with soap under running water, or the use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers, where clean water is not readily available.
The symptoms of cholera include: acute diarrhoea, watery stool and vomiting, that could lead to death within a few hours, if left untreated.
Adigwe urged Nigerians to imbibe the habit of using water from reliable sources or alternatively, removing contaminants from their water by boiling or sieving with a clean cloth, before drinking and ensuring that drinking water was stored in a properly sealed container.
He, however, stressed the need for Nigerians to visit the nearest health facility immediately they experienced sudden diarrhoea or watery stool. (NAN)