The Federal Government yesterday announced that over 781 persons have lost their lives to the recent outbreak of cholera while confirming that 13,000 cases of cholera have been recorded nationwide.
Health Minister, Prof Christian Onyebuchi Chukwu, made this known at a briefing yesterday to reveal the current statistics of the disease.
He said cholera infection was at its peak in Jigawa State where many cases have been confirmed.
He explained that a lot of personnel and medicines have already been deployed to the state to interrupt the spread, while surveillance and monitoring have been increased.
Professor Chukwu lamented that the disease is spreading rapidly despite measures to control it because most people have refused to take their personal hygiene seriously.
He emphasized that most of the confirmed cases showed that the disease was spreading through human to human contact while few were from contaminated water.
The minister said the Federal Government was working closely with all the other tiers of government, development parties, civil societies and private hospitals to ensure that adequate medicines, personnel and resources are on ground to handle the situation.
He said plans were under way to purchase the cholera vaccine to interrupt the spread as a short term strategy which would only last for 6 months if used on individuals.
Figures by the minister show that Katsina has the highest cases with 3310 infected and 175 deaths. It is followed closely by Bauchi with 2693 cases and 94 deaths.
Others are: Adamawa (1469 cases, 118 deaths), Gombe (1389 cases, 80 deaths), Yobe (601 cases, 52 deaths), Taraba (284 cases, 18 deaths), Jigawa (271 cases, 20 deaths), Kebbi (218 cases, 18 deaths), Zamfara (184 cases, 13 deaths), Sokoto (91 cases, 1 death).
He urged people to take the issue of sanitation seriously, adding that the cholera epidemic will be a thing of the past if people imbibe simple practices like washing of hands after using the toilet, drinking clean or boiled water.