All Eyes on Covid, Cholera Creeps up in Nigeria

Nigeria is in the throes of one of the worst cholera outbreaks it’s seen in years—with nearly 70,000 cases so far this year–-while its health system is consumed with the COVID-19 fight, the AP reports.
The numbers, shared Monday by the Nigeria CDC:

  • At least 2,323 deaths as of September 5
  • 25 of 36 states affected
  • Children ages 5-14 most affected
  • Overall case fatality rate is 3.3%—more than double the country’s COVID’s 1.3% case fatality rate.

The drivers include poor access to water and sanitation services, aggravated by heavy rainfall.

  • Just 14% of Nigerians have access to safely managed drinking water.
  • Open defecation still practiced by at least 30% of people in 14 states.

And COVID-19 has also disrupted access to care. Health officials in Kogi State, with the country’s second-highest cholera case fatality rate (24.5%) tie the high rate to trouble reaching care; even in the capital, COVID-strained hospitals are turning cholera patients away.

Just 1% of Nigeria’s 200 million+ people have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

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