Doctors step up efforts to contain cholera spread in Borno
• First new vaccine has 80% efficacy, says commissioner
THE international medical humanitarian organisation, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), says it has scaled up “strategic response measures” in Borno State to contain the spread of cholera in Maiduguri metropolis and Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.
The MSF Medical Director, Dr. Felix Kouassi, who stated this yesterday in Maiduguri, said since the outbreak of cholera, 2,627 cases were reported by Borno Ministry of Health with a death toll of 48.
His words: “The Doctors without Borders (MSF) continues to scale up its response in Borno State to prevent further spread and infection of residents of Maiduguri metropolis and displaced persons taking refuge in resettlement camps.
“In Maiduguri alone, 1,425 cases were recorded by our field health personnel, while 600 cases in Dikwa and 602 cases in Monguno were also reported to our collating and treatment centre at Dala.”
A MSF medical co-ordinator, Anna Cillers, further disclosed that “early diagnosis and treatment is vital to tackling cholera outbreaks.
She said that as cholera cases increased in Maiduguri, the MSF rapidly added more beds to our cholera treatment centre at Dala with 100 beds capacity.
“Since August 16, 2017, 491 patients were admitted and 475 discharged in Dala. MSF has now constructed near Muna garage camp located at the outskirts of Maiduguri another cholera treatment centre with a 50-bed capacity which can be increased to 100 in the coming days, if required,” said Cillers.
She said the Muna camp hosts about 20,000 people who have been displaced by the ongoing conflict between the Nigerian armed forces and Boko Haram.
Besides, she said MSF is closely co-ordinating its efforts with the Borno Ministry of Health, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other humanitarian organisations in the prevention and treatment of cholera, including providing training for their health workers.
Meanwhile, the Borno State Health Commissioner, Dr. Haruna Mshelia, has declared that the first cholera new vaccine has 80 per cent efficacy when administered on people to prevent them from contracting the water-borne disease.
Mshelia, who stated this yesterday at the Muna Garage Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Maiduguri, said the 915,005 doses of new vaccine against cholera was the first of its kind to be used in the country for massive immunisation.
He, therefore, allayed the fears of traditional and religious leaders that the vaccine was not against fertility among girls and women living in camps and host-communities.
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