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HomeOTHER NEWSCholera Outbreak Alert: Abia State Urged to Strengthen Preparedness, Says FENRAD

Cholera Outbreak Alert: Abia State Urged to Strengthen Preparedness, Says FENRAD

Aba, Nigeria – June 23, 2024 – In light of the recent cholera outbreak devastating parts of Nigeria, the Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development (FENRAD) has called on the Abia State Government to heighten its alertness and preparedness to prevent the disease from spreading within its borders. The outbreak, which has already claimed numerous lives in Lagos and other regions, poses a significant public health threat that demands immediate and proactive measures.

Cholera, a severe diarrheal illness caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, spreads rapidly in unsanitary conditions. As such, FENRAD, a prominent pro-democracy and environmental rights advocacy group based in Abia State, emphasizes the urgency for comprehensive measures to combat this health crisis.

Call for Proactive Measures

FENRAD has urged the state government to adopt an interministerial approach involving the ministries of health, environment, and information. This collaborative effort aims to maintain public health standards while educating the public on the importance of personal and domestic hygiene. Given the nature of cholera, which thrives in unhygienic surroundings, FENRAD advocates for a focus on healthy living practices among Abians.

“We cannot afford to be caught unawares like we were during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020,” stated Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, Executive Director of FENRAD. “It is imperative that we take preemptive steps to ensure that our state is prepared to handle this outbreak effectively.”

Commendation and Continued Vigilance

FENRAD has commended the swift actions of the state Ministry of Health, which has already tested 109 suspected cholera cases across six local councils, all of which returned negative. Despite this initial success, the organization warns against complacency, urging continuous vigilance and preparedness.

“Now is not the time to rest on our laurels,” said Nwafor. “We must activate all relevant MDAs and work closely with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to adopt and implement necessary measures.”

Government Commitment to Healthcare

Under the leadership of Governor Alex Otti, Abia State has demonstrated a strong commitment to healthcare, allocating approximately 15% of the 2024 budget to the health sector. This unprecedented allocation reflects the administration’s dedication to enhancing healthcare delivery across the state.

The state government has already begun rehabilitating state-owned hospitals, a crucial step towards bolstering healthcare infrastructure. FENRAD urges the administration to continue these efforts, particularly in strengthening primary healthcare services, which are vital in managing and preventing outbreaks like cholera.

Challenges in Rural and Urban Areas

A major concern remains the potential impact of the cholera epidemic on rural areas, where access to basic health amenities is often limited. Additionally, urban poor populations, many of whom reside in informal settlements with inadequate sanitation, are particularly vulnerable.

FENRAD stresses the importance of ensuring that all Abians, regardless of their location or socioeconomic status, have access to reliable healthcare. “Governor Otti must prioritize the actualization of a robust primary healthcare sector, ensuring that no one is left behind,” Nwafor emphasized.

Conclusion

The cholera outbreak presents a significant challenge, but with the right measures and proactive strategies, Abia State can mitigate its impact. FENRAD’s call to action highlights the importance of preparedness, collaboration, and robust healthcare infrastructure in safeguarding public health.

As Abia State braces for the potential spread of cholera, the collaborative efforts of government agencies, healthcare providers, and the community will be crucial in preventing a public health crisis. The commitment to proactive measures and continuous vigilance will be key to ensuring that Abia remains resilient in the face of this outbreak.


This article was compiled with contributions from FENRAD and local health officials. The information provided aims to inform and engage the public on critical health issues facing our community.

For further information and updates, contact the Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development (FENRAD) at their head office located at Plot 44 St. Michaels Road, By Mosque Street, 4th Floor, Front, Aba, Abia State, or reach them via telephone at 08033383708 or 07062949232.

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