Cholera

6 Essential Steps To Prevent The Spread Of Cholera

By Odunmorayo Oke

14 June 2024   |  
5:49 pm

The Lagos State Government has confirmed an outbreak of cholera, leading to numerous deaths and hospitalisations. This public health emergency shows the ongoing challenges Nigeria is facing. Cholera in times of turmoil Cholera is a bacterial disease that occurs when someone eats or drinks contaminated foods. It causes severe watery stool and dehydration. If left…

Cholera Cholera
Virus. Photo – Pixabay / Aneta Esz

The Lagos State Government has confirmed an outbreak of cholera, leading to numerous deaths and hospitalisations. This public health emergency shows the ongoing challenges Nigeria is facing.

Cholera in times of turmoil

Cholera is a bacterial disease that occurs when someone eats or drinks contaminated foods. It causes severe watery stool and dehydration. If left untreated, it could lead to death.

Furthermore, cholera outbreaks were not uncommon, especially in the past. They were prevalent during periods of war and civil unrest when food and water quality deteriorated. For example, during World War I, the sixth cholera pandemic spread globally. More recently, Yemen experienced the largest and fastest-growing cholera epidemic in modern history, increased by the country’s ongoing conflict.

READ ALSO: 5 Things To Know About Nigeria’s Cholera Outbreak 

These instances demonstrate how societal disruptions can worsen public health crises. The current cholera outbreak in Lagos is unfolding against a growing number of security issues and economic difficulties in Nigeria, creating conditions ripe for the spread of the disease.

Strategies to combat cholera

To address this health crisis, residents must adopt several precautionary measures:

1. Improve water quality

CholeraCholera
Clear disposable bottle water. Photo – Pexels / Steve Johnson

Having access to clean filtered water is crucial in preventing the chances of contracting cholera. This can be achieved by the provision of safe, chlorine water, using water purification methods, or boiling water for consumption. Ensure to avoid drinking water sold in cups, nylons, and even piped water and ice. The safest option is bottled water.

In addition, having a proper waste management system in place can be of great help in reducing the spread of cholera. Doing this can prevent the contamination of water sources, hence curbing the spread of any disease. It can be achieved by treating sewage and waste properly to avoid contact with water sources.

2. Good hygiene practices

CholeraCholera
Person washing hands. Photo – Pexels / Ketut Subiyanto

Good hygiene practices can go a long way in reducing the spread of cholera. Some of these practices are regularly washing hands with antibacterial soap and clean water. Especially after using the toilet, before touching food, after wiping a baby’s bum, and after coming in contact with someone who has cholera.

Also, foods should be properly cooked and stored. Avoid raw, uncooked foods. Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables with clean water before consumption.

Furthermore, ensure to buy food from vendors that practice safe hygiene practices to prevent contracting cholera.

3. Spread awareness

Passing information around to educate people on cholera transmission and prevention methods can reduce the rate of infection. Guides on proper hygiene practices, safe drinking water, and the use of proper latrines are equally important.

In the same way, using widely used mediums of communication to spread awareness on ways to avoid this deadly disease will be beneficial.

4. Vaccination

There are oral cholera vaccines that can be used during this time. Vaccines like Shanchol, Euvichol-Plus, and Dukoral are some of the popular options. Also, conducting mass vaccination in high-risk areas can provide a temporary solution and curb outbreaks.

5. Oral rehydration therapy

Oral rehydration therapy is a special treatment for rehydration. Since cholera causes severe dehydration, doing this practice can help replace lost fluids and electrolytes. According to the Rehydration Project, this method can be done by mixing water, glucose, and dry salts. This helps to manage diarrhoea and dehydration.

Likewise, in severe cases, intravenous (IV) fluids can be considered. This is an IV solution administered to patients by inserting a needle into a vein. IV fluids serve as a replacement for water, sugar, and salt.

6. Control pests

Practising measures to control and prevent pests such as mosquitoes, rats, mice, insects and worms in an area is essential. Things like spraying insecticide, removing standing water, and using fly traps will help to reduce the presence of rodents that can spread cholera.

Also, keeping surroundings free from leftover food should be considered.

The Lagos State Government has heightened surveillance and response measures. The Ministry of Health and the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) are investigating potential water contamination in the Lekki Victoria Island area.

READ ALSO: Be Vigilant, Take Precautionary Measures – Lagos Government 

Most importantly, residents are urged to stay informed through the Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and accredited local health facilities.

Finally, by adhering to these guidelines, cholera can be curbed collectively in Lagos. Stay safe and vigilant.

This Guardian Life content is intended for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the Guardian Life website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 112.



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