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Cholera outbreak : WaterAid expresses concern over cholera outbreak in some states

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Cholera kills 7 children in C/River, says DG

… Urges govt, donors to increase investment in water, sanitation***

WaterAid Nigeria, an NGO, has expressed concern over the outbreak of cholera disease in some states, claiming no  fewer than 3,000 lives, especially affecting young children between five and 14 years old.

This is contained in a statement on Thursday signed by Ms Rachael Ogunlana and made available to the newsmen in Lagos.

The aid agency said that the numbers might be higher as people in hard-to-reach areas were affected as well, but that they were not all included.

The organisation expressed worry that the global climate crisis, which was likely to lead to more erratic rains and river floods, would increase the number and severity of these outbreaks, as there would be a higher risk of floods contaminating clean water sources.

“This recent outbreak has been the most lethal one in several years, considering the number of cases and death recorded so far”,

Reacting to the cholera scourge Ms Evelyn Mere, Country Director, WaterAid Nigeria, said, “It shows how important clean water and good sanitation and hygiene are to saving lives. Even though the rainy season is coming to an end, the outbreak is ongoing.

Also read: NCDC reports 1,182 suspected cholera cases in one week

“WaterAid is working closely with the authorities in several states and at national level in the fight against cholera.

“It is intensifying the campaign against cholera through TV and Radio messages, focusing on the importance of access to safely managed toilets in households and public institutions and an end to open defecation while campaigning to improve handwashing habits.”

Mere said that WaterAid was also working continuously to influence government at all levels to prioritise  access of communities to clean water.

According to an earlier report on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, only an estimated 16 per cent of the population in Nigeria have access to basic hygiene services, 44 per cent have access to basic sanitation and 46 million Nigerians still defecate in the open.

She noted that the waste from open defecation was often washed away by rain, contaminating water sources like drinking wells, especially during the raining season.

She said that tackling the challenge would require the Nigerian government and donors to step up their investment in the grossly underfunded water, sanitation and hygiene sector, which was declared to be in a state of emergency in 2018.

“Improving living and sanitation conditions in a sustainable way is extremely important in the fight against diseases like cholera and the impacts of climate change

” It will literally save thousands of lives.

” Communities need proper handwashing and sanitation facilities, and clean water sources that are at a distance from toilets so there’s no cross contamination,” Mere said.

Newsmen report that WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation.

In the meantime,  Dr Evelyn Mere, Country Director, WaterAid Nigeria, has urged government and donors to step up their investments in water, sanitation and hygiene, to tackle cholera outbreaks in the country.

Mere made the call in a statement signed Mrs Rachel Ogunlana, Communications Support Consultant, WaterAid Nigeria, and issued to Journalists on Thursday, in Bauchi.

She said WaterAid was deeply concerned about the cholera outbreak that had affected communities in several states in Nigeria and “claiming over 3000 lives so far, especially affecting young children between 5 and 14 years old.

“The numbers might even be higher, as people in hard-to-reach areas have been affected as well, but they are not all included,” she said.

The Country Director stressed that in order to tackle the challenge, there was the need to step up investments in the water and sanitation sector.

“The Nigerian government and donors need to step up their investment in the grossly underfunded water, sanitation and hygiene sector, which was declared to be in a state of emergency in 2018.

“Improving living and sanitation conditions in a sustainable way is extremely important in the fight against diseases like cholera and the impacts of climate change,” Mere said.

She noted that communities need proper handwashing and sanitation facilities, and clean water sources that are at a distance from toilets so there’s no cross contamination.

According to her, her organisation feared that the global climate crisis, is likely to lead to more erratic rains and river floods.

“This will increase the number and severity of these outbreaks, as there will be a higher risk of floods contaminating clean water sources.

“This recent outbreak has been the most lethal in several years, considering the number of cases and deaths recorded so far.

“It shows how important clean water and good sanitation and hygiene are to saving lives. Even though the rainy season is coming to an end, the outbreak is ongoing”, Mere said.

She said WaterAid was working closely with the authorities in several states and at the national level in the fight against cholera, including “intensifying the campaign against cholera through TV and Radio messages,

“Focusing on the importance of access to safely managed toilets in households and public institutions, and an end to open defecation while campaigning to improve handwashing habits.”

The Country Director also pointed out that WaterAid was working continuously to influence governments at all levels to prioritize the access of communities to clean water.

“Their waste is often washed away by rain, contaminating water sources like drinking wells, especially during the rainy season,” she added.

 

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Health and Safety

Clean Naija Campaign: Showcasing The Impact Of Dr Moyinoluwa Oladoye

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…In collaboration with Reckitt, Slum and Rural Health Initiative (SRHIN) and the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA)

Dr. Moyinoluwa Oladoye, a young visionary leader and healthcare social entrepreneur has radically influenced sanitation and hygiene practices in Nigeria.

 In collaboration with Reckitt, Slum and Rural Health Initiative (SRHIN), and the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), he plays a leadership role as the Senior Programme Officer at SRHIN in a transformative initiative to improve the practice of handwashing, hygiene, and sanitation, to about 6 million Nigerians between 2019 and 2025. 

*Dr. Oladoye with representatives from Reckitt Nigeria and the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA).

With over 5 years of experience as a public health professional, Dr Oladoye has played a pivotal role in the Dettol Quest Hygiene Program that has reached hundreds of schools, health facilities and communities across 3 states in Nigeria since 2019. 

The Dettol Quest Hygiene Program, provides hygiene kits, materials, and structured education, which has led to a notable improvement in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours associated with sanitation and hygiene practices in Nigeria.

*Group photo with some of the project beneficiaries (students) at the Dettol Quest Hygiene Program closeout event in Lagos, Nigeria. 

The most recent rigorous impact assessment conducted in 2023 led by Dr Oladoye spanned through students, community members, and mothers/ pregnant women via pre-implementation (baseline) and post-implementation (endline) surveys. The results showed remarkable improvement in the knowledge, attitude and practice of the project’s beneficiaries.

Following former President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration for the Open Defecation-Free Nigeria by 2025 Order, Dr Oladoye is one of Nigeria’s leading Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) advocates whose projects on WASH have been presented at several state and national stakeholders meetings on WASH.

*Dr. Oladoye during the impact assessment presentation at the closeout event in Lagos, Nigeria. 

This includes the recent closeout event that held in Lagos, drawing a distinguished gathering of stakeholders, including Reckitt Nigeria, The Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), Slum and Rural Health Initiative (SRHIN), the Federal Ministry of Education, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), and other pivotal figures in the fields of public health and education.

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Health and Safety

NDLEA Arrests 92 Suspects, Seizes 217kg Illicit Substances In Kaduna

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NDLEA arrests India-bound businessman with 9.40kg heroin in Lagos

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kaduna State Command, has arrested 92 suspects and seized 217.02kg of illicit substances since the beginning of 2024.

The state Commander of NDLEA, Mr Samaila Danmalam, disclosed in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Kaduna.

According to him,  the suspects comprise 88 males and four females.

He added that the seized substances included Indian hemp, cocaine, heroin, tramadol and methamphetamine.

The commander said that NDLEA operatives raided 19 illicit drugs in the state during the period.

He said that the command secured the conviction of 24 suspects and charged  25 to court during the period.

“ln its drug demand reduction efforts, 29 drug users were counselled while seven drug addicts were successfully rehabilitated.

“In a bid to dissuade members of the public from illicit drug use and trafficking, enlightenment campaigns were carried out at various locations targeting 6,956 participants.

The commander called on members of the public to provide useful and timely information to the command, saying the fight against drug abuse and trafficking requires the support of all Nigerians.

  • NAN
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Health and Safety

Enugu Hospital Detains Nnewi Woman, Her Triplets Over N352,350 Delivery Bill

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Gov. Soludo appoints CPS, MD/CEOs, others

A private hospital, Praise and Grace Hospital and Maternity, Enugu, has detained Mrs Joan Orajiobi and her triplets over the family’s inability to pay the delivery bill of N352,350.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Orajiobi, a native of Nnewi in Anambra, gave birth to two girls and a boy in the hospital in Enugu on New Year’s Day.

Speaking to NAN from the hospital on Friday, Orajiobi, who lives at Ologo Quarters, Uwani Enugu, said she had been discharged on Jan. 8 but held by the hospital due to their inability to complete the hospital bill.

She said the hospital billed them a total of N482,350, but that her husband was only able to pay N130,000, the remaining balance of N352,350.

“The bill amounted to that because I gave birth through Caesarian Section (CS).
“I am a hairdresser. I had two girls already before this pregnancy came in May, but I never knew I was pregnant with triplets until the scan which showed that l was carrying twins.

Gov. Soludo appoints CPS, MD/CEOs, others
*Gov. Soludo of Anambra State

“I am pleading to Nigerians, organisations especially the governors of Enugu and Anambra States, to come to my rescue and assist us with financial support. I want to go home and take care my children.

“Anybody that is touched by our condition can reach and assist us through my husband’s Access Account Number 0043854232, Account Name: Nchekwube Orajiobi C. and his WhatsApp 08065846537,’’ she pleaded.

She added that she was always touched seeing other patients who came after them leaving the hospital while they were held because they could not pay.

The husband, Mr Cornelius Orajiobi, a trader, said they both hailed from Obiofia in Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

He said he was excited to have triplets but regretted that it would be difficult for him and his wife to take care of the babies in terms of feeding.

“Nigerians should please assist us because this gift is bigger than what we can cater for alone.

“The N130,000 I deposited came from friends and well-wishers while I borrowed some.
“Apart from the medical bill, I need what I will use to bring up these kids,’’ he pleaded.

When contacted, the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Shedrack Emeribe, told NAN that he operated on Orajiobi without a deposit from the family.

He added that it was after four days of the operation that her husband deposited N60,000 before making it up to N130,000.
He explained that all the things they were requested for the delivery were not provided, stressing that the hospital provided it for them.

“I told the husband to make an initial deposit of N150,000 but he never paid a dime till a few days after CS. But I have to save those lives,” he said.

He said that the bill of N482,350 included surgery, theatre, drug fees, and Hospital Services. 

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