At least 10 people have died of cholera in a new outbreak that has affected 60 more people in the Niger State of central Nigeria.

Public domain image/Dartmouth
Public domain image/Dartmouth

In a short statement, the Niger State government health department said the outbreak is confined to the Bida local government area. Most of the patients are admitted at two hospitals in the town.

In a letter to the Niger State government, Bida Council Secretary Suleiman Sheshi said the local authority cannot contain the disease outbreak without external assistance. He cited the shortage of critical care medical consumables and staff, with only one doctor handling emergencies at the local general hospital.

“The general hospital is lacking medical consumables and adequate facilities to cater for the present emergent health challenge. Over 10 people infected with the disease (cholera) have been confirmed dead.

“The present situation cannot be handled by the Bida local government alone. One reason why this letter is written is to request for superior intervention from the (Niger) State government. Prompt action from your part will, without any doubt, save a lot of lives presently at critical points of survival,” Sheshi stated.

So far the council has advised the people of Bida to maintain the highest hygienic standards in order to prevent the spread of the disease. It warned citizens against drinking water from unhygienic sources and to refrain from eating sliced fruits and herbal concoctions.  

Further, the council said all suspected cholera cases should be taken to the nearest hospital as early as possible and stressed that “on no account” should home remedies be used as a treatment option.