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Cholera outbreak: A’Ibom Govt. sets precautionary measures

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The Akwa Ibom Government says it has initiated precautionary measures to prevent outbreak of cholera in the state.

The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Augustine Umoh, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Uyo on Friday.

Umoh said that the state government has commenced sensitisation of residents in all the 31 Local Government Areas of the state on the need to maintain personal and environmental hygiene.

He said that besides that the state government has stocked primary health centres in the state with adequate drugs in case of an outbreak of cholera.

“For now, there is no reported case of cholera outbreak in the state.

“We have commenced sensitisation of residents to maintain hygiene both personal and environmental.

“Residents during this period are advised to boil water before drinking, wash their hands with soap and clean water regularly, especially after use of toilet and before eating, wash fruits and other food items before eating,” Umoh advised.

The commissioner added that the state government has reactivated all emergency operations centres across the state to handle any outbreak.

He said that the government would continue to monitor and ensure surveillance, especially in the border communities.

Umoh advised residents to take salt sugar solution in case of diarrhoea and report to the nearest health centre for prompt action.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, in a recent report, said between Jan. 1 and June 11, it recorded over 1,141 suspected cases with over 65 confirmed and 30 deaths in 96 local government areas in 30 states.

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5 Basic Must-do’s To Avoid Contracting Cholera– Expert

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Last Updated on July 2, 2024 by Fellow Press

According to the World Health Organization, health authorities in Nigeria declared a cholera outbreak in Lagos on June 15, 2024, with 436 suspected cases reported. Within six days, the number of suspected cases exceeded 500, including 43 confirmed cases, with a 5.4% case fatality rate among suspected cases.

Recent reports indicate the outbreak’s spread, with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control recording 53 cholera-related deaths and 1,528 suspected cases across 31 states and 107 local government areas as of June 24, 2024, marking a 3.5% case fatality rate since the beginning of the year.

Globally, researchers estimate annual cholera cases range from 1.3 to 4.0 million, resulting in 21,000 to 143,000 deaths, primarily affecting individuals with mild or no symptoms who can be effectively treated with oral rehydration solutions.

With cases reported in crowded areas and prisons, educating Nigerians on cholera prevention has become crucial. Speaking at a recent health-promoting event, Dr. Oche Otorkpa, a public health expert and Executive Director of Public Health Nigeria, emphasized the importance of promoting hygienic practices at all times. He outlined five essential practices to prevent contracting cholera:

1. Practice Good Hygiene: Wash hands frequently with soap and clean water, especially before handling food, after using the toilet, and after caring for cholera patients. Use hand sanitizers if soap and water are unavailable.

2. Ensure Safe Water and Food: Drink only safe water that has been boiled, treated, or chlorinated. Avoid consuming raw or undercooked seafood, and thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before eating. He emphasized that these are no times for indiscriminate purchase of snacks and foods from unhygienic street vendors.

3. Maintain Sanitary Conditions: Properly dispose of human waste to prevent water source contamination. Use latrines or toilets and avoid open defecation. Always keep living and cooking areas clean.

4. Promote Community Awareness: Educate family and community members about cholera symptoms, such as severe diarrhea and vomiting, and encourage prompt medical care if symptoms occur.

By following these basic guidelines, outlined by Dr. Otorkpa individuals and communities can significantly reduce their risk of contracting cholera and help health authorities control outbreaks within their communities.

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Milk Day: Shettima unveils National Dairy Policy

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Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Fellow Press

The Federal Government has inaugurated the National Dairy Policy to catalyse development in the livestock and dairy sectors.

The policy, unveiled on Tuesday in Abuja by Vice President Kashim Shettima, aims to achieve sustainable diversification of the national economy, a key objective of its National Development Plan (2021-2025).

The document was designed to serve as a roadmap for energising the dairy industry over the coming years.

The policy is the outcome of several consultations and engagements with key stakeholders who shared the vision of a productive and globally competitive dairy sector in Nigeria.

Speaking at the unveiling of the document, Shettima said that milk was not a staple but a cornerstone of Nigeria nutritional security and economic development.

He said theme of the 2024 Milk Day, “Harnessing the Nutrition and Investment Opportunities in a Sustainable Dairy Value Chain,” was particularly significant.

Shettima was represented by Dr Kingsley Uzoma, Senior Special Assistant to Shettima on Agribusiness.

He said that since its inception, the benefits of milk and dairy products had been actively promoted worldwide, highlighting how dairy supported the livelihoods of one billion people.

“Dairy is an accessible, affordable, and nutrient-dense food, essential for balanced diets across the world.

“Billions of people consume milk and dairy products daily, not only as a vital source of nutrition but also as a means of livelihood for farmers, processors, shopkeepers, and other stakeholders in the dairy value chain.

“It is our collective responsibility to ensure that consumers, industry and governments have up-to-date information on how milk and dairy products contribute to human nutrition.

“Also how dairy-industry development can best increase food security and alleviate poverty in Nigeria.”

Shettima said that dairy farming presented significant opportunities for economic development and youth employment.

“However, these opportunities do not come without challenges.

“Our livestock farmers often face issues such as inadequate feed for their animals, conflicts over grazing lands, and the adverse effects of climate change.”

He said that the these challenges were compounded by violent conflicts between farmers and cattle herdsmen over land use.

“A situation exacerbated by increasing droughts and the pressing need for sustainable solutions.

” Recognising these challenges, the Federal Government is launching the National Dairy Policy with the objective of transforming the dairy industry in Nigeria.”

Shettima said the policy would address key obstacles such as the lack of modern global best practices for cross-breeding and calving, high costs of mik and poor transportation infrastructure among others.

“Currently, Nigeria spends 1.5 billion dollars annually on importing dairy products due to a production deficit.

” Nigerians consume an average of 1.6 billion liters of milk and its products but domestic production is insufficient to meet this demand.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration is determined to achieve national production security, with the longer term goal of eventually exporting dairy products to other African countries under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).”

He said that implementation of the policy would ensure improved dairy farming practices, increased investment in dairy processing and preservation, evidence-based policy implementation, and enhanced collaboration.

Shettima said that it would also enable ease of business for the dairy industry, fostering public-private partnerships, embracing technology and innovation, empowering women-friendly and youth-centric business models.

“Its implementation will promote good animal health practices, and monitoring and evaluating progress,” he said.

In a remark, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Aliyu Abdullahi, said that the national dairy policy was in line with Federal Government’s Renewed Hope Agenda to reposition the livestock sector.

He said that the document would create enabling and supportive environment for growth in the dairy sector.

Abdullahi said that there were potential in the dairy industry, adding that with consistency and steadfastness to the policy’s implementation, Nigeria would before long become self- sufficient in milk and dairy products.

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