By Chioma Obinna
LAGOS—THE Federal Government, yesterday, said it was in total control of the outbreak of cholera, stressing that no life has been lost in last 48 hours as a result of the epidemic in the country.
It will be recalled that about 352 lives have been lost to the cholera epidemic in the country in the past few weeks.
A statement signed by Mrs. Rekia Zubairu, the Special Assistant to the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said the Ministry’s Public Health Department was convinced that the country has turned the table around noting the efforts of the department could be seen as not a single fatality had been recorded in close monitoring of the situation in the last 48 hours.
The statement said: “The Federal Ministry of Health has worked very hard with all stakeholders, including the media, to bring this epidemic to an end”
It appealed to Nigerians to observe simple rules of hygiene in their daily activities, stressing that the relevant authorities would provide infrastructures to ensure that the people have access to information, potable water and adequate sanitation.
Meanwhile, stakeholders are to meet next month in Abuja over the epidemic. The meeting, to be held on October 17 and 18, with Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin Republic, in attendance, is expected to discuss the way out. Other issues to be discussed at the meeting include polio, yellow fever, dengue fever, river blindness, neglected tropical diseases and movement of counterfeit drugs.
The meeting is also expected to involve development partners such as WHO, UNICEF, World Bank and other regional groups.
The statement said that “adopting common policies regarding disease surveillance, development of follow-up mechanisms to ensure implementation of jointly agreed action and activities, will be of tremendous benefit to the countries.”
It added that the expected outcomes of the meeting would include a concrete policy and implementation framework on the trans-border of diseases, including surveillance and monitoring.
The statement explained that the meeting was President Goodluck Jonathan’s directive to the Health Minister to meet with his counterparts in neighbouring countries to address the issue of trans- border transfer of polio and other diseases during Bill Gates’ visit to Nigeria three months ago.
Gates is funding development activities worldwide, through his Bill Gates Foundation.