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.