Niger State Government has revealed that over one hundred persons have died from the outbreak of cholera across the 25 Local Government Areas between April to date with open defecation identified as the main source of infection in the state.
The State Commissioner of Health and Hospital Services, Dr Mohammed Makun-Sidi disclosed this in an interview shortly after the opening ceremony of a training workshop for journalists sponsored by Pathfinder International.
The Commissioner who called for a change of attitude on issues of personal hygiene amongst citizens, especially rural dwellers lamented the destructive effects of open defecation and poor waste disposal habits.
Except for the holistic approach by relevant stakeholders in tackling the menace, the Commissioner said the annual menace of cholera will continue and therefore encouraged citizens to adopt preventive measures to avoid further loss of lives.
In addition to attitudinal change, Dr MakunSidi encouraged infected persons to quickly seek medical attention from public health facilities in their communities once they notice diarrhoea or frequent stooling and vomiting.
While applauding Pathfinder International for the training which dwelt more on issues of Family Planning and Child Spacing programmes, Makunsidi said the feat is key to achieving Universal Health Coverage and as well provide technical support to the state.
The Commissioner enumerated some of the challenges of Family Planning (FP) to include; running out of commodities, inadequate funds and insecurity which has affected about 8 Local Government Area councils.
He however assured that with intensified training or enlightenment of stakeholders and embracing of best hygiene practices among especially rural dwellers, the state can attain 100% of PHC centres through the state policy of ‘Niger Health 1.0 Plan’.