Abuja: The death toll from a cholera outbreak that hit at least 10 villages in Nigeria’s southern state of Cross River rose from 20 to 51 on Monday, a local traditional ruler said.
The additional 31 victims died between Sunday and Monday, Bernard Egbe, a tribal chief in the Ekureku community of Abi local government area in Cross River, where the outbreak has been recorded, told media.
Four of the cholera patients in local hospitals are in critical condition, Egbe said.
Local health authorities said on Sunday that the cholera outbreak began on Thursday, prompting the government to deploy human and material resources to the affected villages to prevent the virulent disease from further spreading.
Janet Ekpeyong, head of the Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency, told reporters on Sunday that the deaths could have been avoided if protocols were followed in the affected villages.
As a measure to manage the outbreak, Ekpeyong said the government had so far established communication with the community leaders to ensure their communities adhere to hygiene protocols to end cholera and other related illnesses in that part of the country.
In addition, she said treatment of the water source and fumigation were ongoing, noting the community had been grappling with challenges associated with a lack of potable water and poor health facilities.