The need to sensitize the general public on ways to prevent and protect against the ravaging Cholera outbreak becomes imperative as cases rise across Nigeria.
Cholera is an infectious and often fatal bacterial disease of the small intestine, typically contracted through ingestion of infected water or food, causing severe vomiting and diarrhoea. It is a water-borne disease which if left untreated, can lead to death within hours.
Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Ebonyi, Enugu, Zamfara State, and even the F.C.T are among states that have recorded several cases and deaths. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said that between January 2021 and June 27, a total of 14,343 suspected cases of cholera were reported across Nigeria, with 325 deaths
While NCDC is intensifying its efforts to reduce deaths from cholera alongside the Coronavirus pandemic, here are five ways to prevent the disease itself.
A basic way of maintaining personal hygiene is by habitual handwashing. Frequent handwashing with soap and clean running water before and after each meal is the best practice. Washing your hands after visiting the loo is however a must. If water is unavailable, the use of a hand sanitiser is recommended.
It is important to make use of water from only reliable sources. It is highly advisable to boil water before drinking and when storing water, make sure the container is properly sealed. If you prefer to drink bottled water, ensure it is properly sealed before consuming it.
This method of prevention entails washing, peeling, or cooking. For fruits and vegetables, it is essential to wash them with clean, running water.
To consume fruits, it is best that you peel first before consuming. Food is required to be well cooked. It is also highly recommended that food be properly covered when not immediately consumed.
While personal hygiene is important, the need to also keep a clean and safe environment cannot be overstressed in preventing a Cholera outbreak. The practise of open defecation and indiscriminate refuse dumping needs to stop. When disposing of your waste, ensure that it is properly done and wash your hands with soap and water afterwards.