11 July 2018

Nigeria: Cholera Outbreak - WHO Begins Vaccination Exercise in Adamawa

In response to the cholera outbreak in Adamawa State, the World Health Organisation has began the first round of the two-phase oral vaccination (OCV).

In a statement released by the organisation on Tuesday, the campaign kicks-off in high-risk wards of Mubi North, Mubi South and Maiha local government areas (LGAs) of Adamawa.

The vaccination campaign is to be implemented from June 10 to 17.

The vaccination is as an aftermath of the cholera outbreak in the state where over 1,500 suspected cases have been reported with 25 deaths recorded.

WHO said this is the first ever cholera vaccination exercise in the state, following the release of 750,000 doses of OCV by International Coordinating Group (ICG).

"The initial batch of 378,815 doses of the vaccine has already 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" WHO said.

The commissioner of health in the state, Fatima Abubakar, said since the confirmation of cholera outbreak in parts of Mubi North and Mubi South LGAs of the state on May 12, a swift outbreak response has been initiated.

She said the initiative includes active house-to-house case search, case management and WASH activities 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."

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera. It remains a global threat to public health.

The WHO Country Representative, Wondi Alemu, said it is responding to the ongoing outbreak in Adamawa State as part of its health emergencies response strategy.

Mr Alemu said 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.

He said with funding support from GAVI Alliance, WHO is providing technical support to the health authorities at the state, LGA and communities levels to ensure quality implementation of the vaccination exercise.

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