Meningitis CSM Cerebrospinal Meningitis
Cerebrospinal Meningitis

Health Authorities Upscale Campaign Against Airborne, Waterborne Diseases

Health authorities in Bauchi, Gombe, and Jigawa states have created campaigns to put an end to the dreaded airborne and waterborne diseases as the rainy season draws near.

Officials of the health agencies and other stakeholders said the states had initiated viable programmes to enhance awareness-creation activities on diseases and improve hygiene, sanitation, and healthcare service delivery at the grassroots.

They spoke in separate interviews in Bauchi, Dutse, and Gombe while responding to a survey on air and waterborne.

Airborne diseases include common colds, chickenpox, mumps, measles, whooping cough, COVID-19, aspergillosis, tuberculosis (TB), anthrax, diphtheria, and meningitis.

On the other hand, waterborne diseases are illnesses caused by microscopic organisms like viruses and bacteria ingested through contaminated water or by coming into contact with faeces. They include typhoid fever, cholera, giardia, dysentery, Escherichia coli, hepatitis A, and Salmonella.

The Gombe State Public Health Emergency Operation Centre (PHEOC) said it has developed an emergency preparedness plan to curb outbreaks of diseases.

“We have done hotspot mapping where we listed all communities at risk for waterborne diseases like cholera, and we have been disinfecting water sources every two weeks. We are using chlorine as well as sharing aqua tabs with households that fetch water from ponds or streams,” said Arnold Abel, the director of medical services in the State Ministry of Health.

Mr. Abel said drugs and consumables had been provided in strategic locations to facilitate rapid response to outbreaks like Cerebral Spinal Meningitis (CSM).

Read Also: NCDC Deploys Response Team to Jigawa, Yobe, Katsina over Rising meningitis Cases

Similarly, the Jigawa government said it had put in place effective measures to stem the outbreak of airborne and waterborne diseases in the state.

The coordinator of tropical diseases in the State Ministry of Health, Ashiru Adurrahman, said the state was conducting seasonal disease treatment with the federal government and development partners.

He said the health surveillance unit and other agencies had been fully mobilised for emergency rapid response services.

“Our coordinated health ambassadors have been trained and prepared to report outbreaks of any disease across the state,’’ he said.

According to him, the development partners are providing medication, logistics, and capacity building for health personnel to control outbreaks. At the same time, the state government has mobilised the community and religious leaders to enhance awareness creation about diseases.

More so, Ezekiel Sukumum, a Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) expert in Bauchi State, advocated for the provision of portable drinking water to curb outbreaks of waterborne diseases, advising people to drink clean water to prevent contracting preventable diseases.

Abdulkadeer Baba, the one-health focal officer in the Bauchi State Ministry of Agriculture, called for proper animal waste management to eradicate waterborne diseases, attributing the spate of human disease transmission to zoonosis, he added that “about 75 per cent of emerging diseases are zoonotic and 80 per cent transmitted through water.

“Animal keepers, poultry, and farm owners should devise means of managing waste to avoid water contamination.”