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WHO, UNICEF, and IOM Convene Emergency Meeting to Address Nigeria’s Cholera Outbreak

In response to the escalating cholera outbreak in Nigeria, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) held an emergency meeting in Lagos State on Tuesday.

The meeting aimed to coordinate a joint response to the outbreak, which has affected 30 states in Nigeria, resulting in over 1,141 suspected cases, 65 confirmed cases, and 30 deaths, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC).

The Lagos State Ministry of Health reported 350 suspected cases, with 17 confirmed cases and 15 fatalities attributed to severe dehydration caused by delayed presentation. The epicenter of the outbreak was identified as the Island area of Lagos, with 106 out of 350 suspected cases recorded in the area.

Cholera is a food and water-borne disease caused by the ingestion of Vibrio cholerae bacteria in contaminated water and food. Symptoms include acute profuse, painless watery diarrhea, vomiting, and fever, which can lead to severe dehydration and death within hours if left untreated.

Experts warn that 80% of infected people may only show mild symptoms or have no symptoms at all, making prompt action crucial to contain the outbreak. The 10 states most affected by the outbreak are Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo, Nasarawa, and Lagos.

The emergency meeting aimed to galvanize a coordinated response to the cholera outbreak, leveraging the expertise and resources of the three agencies to support the Nigerian government’s efforts to contain the spread of the disease.