A team of Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has conducted 32 surgeries for noma patients in another round of surgical intervention at the Noma Hospital in Sokoto from 23 October to 4 November 2022. Since the start of the activities in 2014, a total of 1249 major surgeries have been conducted for the noma patients. MSF is supporting the Noma Hospital in Sokoto through inpatient care, reconstructive surgeries, outreach activities, nutrition and mental health support. “Noma is preventable and treatable, but people still die from it because of the limited knowledge about the disease and on how to detect it. Up to 90 per cent of people affected by noma die in the first two weeks if they don’t receive treatment in time. That is why early detection is important,” says MSF project coordinator in Sokoto, Dr Sham`un Abubakar. “Early case detection and reporting through Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) can be achieved through increased surveillance activities like training of Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers (DSNOs), Health Care Workers (HCW), Traditional Healers, Alternative Medicine Practitioners, Community, Religious and Traditional Rulers and Women and Youth Groups. Noma is a disease that shouldn’t exist anymore.” Noma is an infectious and non-contagious bacterial disease that starts as an inflammation of the gums, similar to a small mouth ulcer. In just two weeks the infection starts to destroy bones and tissues, potentially affecting the jaw, lips, cheeks, nose or eyes, leaving survivors with physical consequences including pain, breathing complications and difficulties in eating. Malnourished children and members of isolated communities with limited access to healthcare and vaccination are more vulnerable. People who survive noma either have to live sequels of the disease or manage to undergo extensive reconstructive surgery to improve quality of life. On top of that, they deal with the social stigma caused by the disfigurement. In collaboration with the health authorities and other stakeholders, MSF is commemorating the noma day (5th November), in order to raise awareness about the disease, address stigmata attached to it and highlight specialized activities on the disease, so the patients can access the services. Besides over 1000 surgeries since the beginning of the activities in Sokoto, MSF teams have held 16857 mental health counselling and 2185 health promotion sessions; furthermore, admitted 1349 patients for both medical and surgical management of noma. In addition, a total of 103 survivors were admitted to the Inpatient Therapeutic Feeding Centre (ITFC), and 35 were enrolled in the Ambulatory Therapeutic Feeding Centre (ATFC). MSF launched an international campaign in 2020 to raise awareness about noma and accelerate the research and advocacy agenda - a crucial step being to see the disease included in the World Health Organization (WHO) list of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). The inclusion would shine a spotlight on the disease, facilitating the integration of noma prevention and treatment activities into existing public health programmes and the allocation of much-needed resources for its eradication. Nigeria with the support of MSF and other noma stakeholders has taken the lead as a member state to get noma on the WHO’s NTDs list. “Noma is a neglected disease, but it’s still not included in the WHO list of Neglected Tropical Diseases although it fits all the criteria. We are supporting the Government of Nigeria’s (GoN) call for the World Health Organization to recognize noma as a Neglected Tropical Disease so more attention and more resources will be allocated to eradicate it,” Dr Sham’un added. Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. MSF has worked continuously in Nigeria since 1996, and currently provides medical care, free of charge, in 11 states across the country. Contact: Field Communication Officer, Abdulkareem Yakubu Email: [email protected] Phone: +234 810 606 6159
The Nigerian Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has been aware of the ongoing outbreak of Sudanese strain Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Uganda since it was officially declared for the first time on September 20, 2022.
As of October 29, 2022, the Ugandan Ministry of Health had reported 128 confirmed cases and 34 deaths.
The NCDC, through the National Technical Working Group on Emerging Viral Hemorrhagic Diseases, met on September 26, 2022 to assess the risk of EVD importation into Nigeria and the potential impact to inform preparedness activities in the country.
Based on the available data and the risk assessment carried out, Nigeria is at HIGH risk of importation of the virus.
This risk is due to the high volume of air travel between Nigeria and Uganda and the mix of passengers, especially at the regional travel hubs of Nairobi, Addis Ababa and Kigali airports and the additional risk from other neighboring countries that share a direct border.
with Uganda in case cases arise in other countries in the region.
The results of this risk assessment are being used to initiate preparedness activities in the country.
Various measures have been put in place to prevent and mitigate the impact of a potential EVD outbreak in Nigeria.
NCDC's Incident Coordination Center (ICC) is now in alert mode.
The development of an incident action plan for the first cases of EVD has started.
Surveillance at points of entry has been intensified using the passenger pre-boarding health declaration and screening form on the Nigerian International Travel Portal (NITP) platform.
Passengers arriving from Uganda and people transiting through Uganda are being followed for 21 days after arrival in Nigeria for their health status.
Trained rapid response teams are on standby to be deployed in the event of an outbreak.
All State Public Health Emergency Operations Centers (PHEOCs) are in alert mode.
A medical countermeasure plan is available.
Expansion of risk communication and engagement with states and partners to strengthen preparedness activities including: a review of risk communication protocols, plans, and messages in the event of an outbreak.
Nigeria has an active infection prevention and control (IPC) program across the country with guidelines and training packages developed for healthcare workers.
INFORMATION ABOUT EBOLA The Ebola virus can be transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of a person who is ill or has died from EVD.
The virus can enter the body fluid through broken skin or mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth.
This can also be spread through contact with objects contaminated by infected people, as well as direct contact with the blood, body fluids, and tissues of infected fruit bats, monkeys, or chimpanzees.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF EVD Like other types of Ebola virus, people infected with the Sudan strain cannot spread the disease until they develop symptoms.
Symptoms can appear 2-21 days after exposure to the virus, but are usually 8-10 days on average.
Symptoms include: Fever Fatigue Muscle pain Headache Sore throat Vomiting Diarrhea Rash Impaired liver and kidney function Internal and external bleeding PREVENTIVE MEASURES To prevent the spread of Ebola, NCDC advises the public to adhere to the following precautions: Wash your hands frequently using soap and water or use hand sanitizers when soap and water are not available and your hand is not visibly dirty.
Avoid physical contact with anyone who has symptoms of an infection with an unknown diagnosis.
Healthcare workers are advised to always adhere to standard precautions.
This includes the use of personal protective equipment at all times when handling patients and always maintaining a high index of suspicion.
TRAVEL ADVICE NCDC advises Nigerian citizens and residents to AVOID ALL EXCEPT ESSENTIAL TRAVEL TO Uganda for now until public health authorities have determined that the outbreak has been contained.
When travel to Uganda is unavoidable, travelers are advised to avoid contact with obviously sick people or suspected Ebola cases.
The Port Health Services of the Federal Ministry of Health have expanded screening of passengers returning from Uganda at points of entry.
Travelers to Nigeria with recent history of travel to Uganda Individuals already in Nigeria but with recent history of travel or transit through Uganda in the last 21 days experiencing symptoms such as fever, muscle pain, sore throat, diarrhoea, weakness, vomiting , stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising should immediately call 6232 or the state ministry of health hotlines for evaluation and testing.
These people SHOULD NOT visit health facilities by themselves to avoid further spread through the shared transportation system (public or private).
They would be visited at home by dedicated first responders for assessment and transported via the designated transportation arrangement to the designated treatment center when necessary.
Travelers who intend to travel to Nigeria with the above symptoms prior to departure SHOULD NOT travel to Nigeria, but call to immediately inform the port health authorities and/or designated health authorities in the country of departure for testing and attention.
Travelers entering Nigeria with a recent travel history to or through Uganda without symptoms on departure but who feel unwell during transit should avoid contact with individuals and report to Port Health Services upon arrival at the point of entry to Niger.
Travelers with a history of travel to Uganda who are symptom-free upon arrival are required to provide accurate information on the NITP platform to ensure follow-up by healthcare workers.
If any of the above symptoms develop at any time within 21 days of arrival in Nigeria, please: Immediately isolate yourself by staying indoors.
Avoid contact with other people, including your immediate family.
Call the NCDC 24/7 toll-free line IMMEDIATELY at 6232 or your state ministry of health (SMOH) emergency number.
Early initiation of supportive care has been shown to significantly improve outcomes, including reduction in deaths.
Please note that local and/or international travel is NOT recommended until the 21-day tracking period is over.
Dr Benedict Azuogu, Principal Investigator at the ongoing workshop to discuss the progress of research known as “the Enable Lassa Research Programme”, said that Nigeria has concluded the 18th-month infection cohort follow-up.
Azuogu said this on Sunday in Abuja at a workshop, hosted by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), for scientists from across the West Africa sub-region.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the three-day workshop brought together experts from Nigeria, Benin, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – all countries affected by Lassa fever – to share progress, challenges and insights from their work.
The workshop was set up and funded by CEPI to provide a more detailed description of the epidemiology of Lassa fever in West Africa.
The principal investigator, while speaking on the Nigerian component of the study, said that the country has also successfully had over 90 per cent retention rate so far.
Dr N’Faly Magassouba, Programme Steering Committee (PSC) Chair of the Enable Lassa Research Programme and Principal Investigator of the Enable site, Guinea, said:” The Enable Lassa Research Programme has brought together north-to-south and south-to-south research collaborations under a single umbrella.
Magassouba said participants will work collectively to provide valuable insights to support Lassa fever research and vaccine development in West Africa.
“These collaborations will also lead to strengthened existing clinical research and public health capacities at each study site,” he said.
Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, Director General, NCDC, said: “Lassa fever is one of the recurrent and concurrent disease outbreaks Nigeria is contending with.
“Lassa Fever is responsible for significant morbidity and mortality and has a significant impact on healthcare delivery in affected regions, given the deaths caused to healthcare workers.
” Adetifa said that the country has made progress over the years in the management of Lassa fever; however, many gaps still exist like limited options for therapeutics and vaccines, and the absence of evidence-informed interventions for vector control.
“We are happy with our mutually-beneficial collaboration with CEPI, especially through the Enable programme and look forward as a nation to the availability of effective vaccines and therapeutics against Lassa fever,” he said.
Dr Gabrielle Breugelmans, Director of Epidemiology at CEPI, said: “The devastating COVID-19 pandemic has again reiterated the power of scientific collaboration.
” Breugelmans said that the connections and learnings made by researchers at this important meeting would help Enable to progress its work and provide valuable insights into the extent of the Lassa fever disease burden across West Africa which, in turn, can guide future vaccine trials.
“The workshop builds on discussions held at the first-ever global Lassa fever conference, co-hosted by the NCDC and CEPI in January 2019, which emphasised the need for additional research on Lassa’s disease burden,” she said.
NAN recalls that the disease is endemic in parts of West Africa, but recent modelling data suggests that climate change could cause Lassa fever to spread to other regions across the African continent.
Current knowledge about the annual burden of clinical Lassa fever is hindered by a lack of formal and standard clinical diagnoses for the illness and variability in symptoms.
To address this knowledge gap, Enable partners are carrying out assessments, including follow-up of study participants by in-person visits by health workers or via phone calls, to obtain a more accurate estimate of the population-level incidence of Lassa fever.
NCDC is leading on the Nigerian component of Enable alongside other key partners.
All Enable partners are using a core protocol and method to allow for standardised assessments and comparable datasets across the countries.
Supported by up to US$29 million of CEPI funding, a total of around 23,000 participants across the five countries participating in Enable are being followed up for two years to better understand the incidence and associated predictors of the disease – including gender and age – as well as the spread of the virus across the region.
There are currently no licensed vaccines to protect against Lassa fever, although some vaccines are currently developing theirs.
Data collected from the Enable programme will help to inform how and where future Lassa vaccine clinical trials can be carried out.
CEPI has to date supported the development of six Lassa vaccines, with four candidate vaccines having progressed to Phase I clinical trials – some of the first in the world – in Liberia, Ghana, the US, and Belgium.
CEPI’s ultimate goal, as part of its plan to reduce epidemic and pandemic threats, is to support the development of a licensed Lassa vaccine for routine use in affected areas.
In addition to reviewing the progress of the study so far, the workshop will bring the Enable partners together to network and identify research and technical priorities to focus on going forward.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has received 542 stranded Nigerians from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Mr Manzo Ezekiel, Head, Press Unit, NEMA, confirmed this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
According to him, the returnees arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on board Max Air Charted flight at 4:29 a.
m. He added that the returnees included 79 males, 460 females and three infants.
He added that the returnees were screened by health officials, profiled by various relevant agencies and cleared by the Nigerian Immigration Service, before being given a token to aid their transportation to their destinations by NEMA.
Earlier, Mr Mustapha Ahmed, Director-General, NEMA, who officially received the returnees on behalf of the Federal Government, admonished them to learn from their experiences and be law abiding citizens.
Ahmed, who was represented by the Director of Finance and Account of the agency, Mr Sani Jiba, added that the Federal Government had approved the evacuation and provision of the token to support their movement back to their various homes.
The Consul General of Nigeria in Dubai, Amb. Atinuke Mohammed, who accompanied the returnees back to the country, appreciated the Federal Government for the special intervention in the safe evacuation of the citizens.
The returnees were received by officials of NEMA, Airport officials, security agencies, National Commission for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), NAPTIP, NIDCOM, NDLEA, Nigerian Correctional Service, Nigerian Custom Service, NCDC, Port Health Services, among others.
President Muhammadu Buhari will on Sunday depart Abuja for Seoul, South Korea to participate in the First World Bio Summit, 2022.
Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, confirmed this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
The two-day (Oct, 25-26) summit with the theme: ”The Future of Vaccine and Bio-Health,” is jointly organised by the Government of the Republic of Korea and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Adesina said that Nigeria was invited to the summit based on her selection with five other African countries by WHO and the European Union (EU).
He said the country was invited during the last EU-African Summit in Brussels, Belgium in February this year for mRNA technology transfer and Global Training Hub for Bio-manufacturing of vaccines on the African continent.
According to the presidential aide, others expected to feature at the World Bio Summit are CEOs of global vaccine and Biologics companies.
He added that the CEOs would share and shape ideas on the theme, given that, according to the organisers, “global health security profoundly depends on the innovation and development in the bio-industry.
”The partnership between the Republic of Korea and WHO, is therefore, to underscore the above historic truth.
“It is also to undescore the need to launch international stage-efforts on the nature of creativity and innovation required to contain any future health pandemic,” Adesina added.
He said that Buhari would be expected to deliver a statement at the summit, and meet separately with President Yoon Suk-yeol of the Republic of Korea.
Accordingvto him, he will also seek other ways of more effective partnerships that impact positively on the lives and safety of Nigerians during his other engagements and meetings while in Seoul.
He said the Nigerian leader would be accompanied by Gov. Aminu Bello Masari and Gov. Sani Bello of Katsina state and Niger, respectively.
Others are;: Geoffrey Onyeama, Osagie Ehanire and Adeniyi Adebayo, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Health, Industry, Trade and Investment, respectively; and Timipre Sylva, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources.
Retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, National Security Adviser; Amb. Ahmed Abubakar, Director-General, National Intelligence Agency; Prof. Moji Adeyeye, Director-General, NAFDAC and Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, Director-General, NCDC, are also on the president’s entourage.
Others on the delegation are: Bashir Jamoh, Director-General, NIMASA; Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman, NiDCOM as well as other top government officials.
According to the presidential aide, the president is expected back home after the summit.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control & Prevention (NCDC) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), are hosting a workshop in the country for scientists from across the West Africa sub-region. The workshop will discuss the progress of research known as “the Enable Lassa Research Programme”, the largest ever Lassa fever study size from the sub-region. Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, Director-General, NCDC, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria, on Saturday in Abuja. Adetifa said that the 3-day workshop brought together experts from Nigeria, Benin, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, all countries affected by Lassa fever to share progress, challenges and insights from their works. He said, ”this was set up and funded by CEPI. Enable programme aims to provide a more detailed description of the epidemiology of Lassa fever in the region. ” Adetifa said that the agency was leading the Nigerian component of the study, while the project was also being conducted in Benin, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. “Lassa fever is typically spread to humans by infected rodents, with severe cases potentially resulting in a hemorrhagic fever associated with a high risk of death. “It is recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO), as a disease with epidemic potential. “There are no vaccines for Lassa fever currently approved for human use, “ he explained. NAN recalls that the research was launched in 2020, while Enable aims to provide a better understanding of the true Lassa disease burden across West Africa. There are regular outbreaks of the disease in the sub-region and the programme guides the development of vaccines against the epidemic threat. The Enable programme has been set up and funded by CEPI, which is established as one of the largest global funders of Lassa fever research. First identified over fifty years ago, Lassa fever is typically spread when a person comes into contact with the body fluids of the infected rodent species, Mastomys natalensis, otherwise known as the Natal multimammate mouse or rat. Same disease can also be contacted through food and other materials contaminated by its urine, faeces and saliva. NewsSourceCredit: NAN
NYSC has deployed 1,400 corps members to Bauchi State for the 2022 Batch C, Stream 1 orientation exercises.
Alhaji Namadi Abubakar, NYSC Coordinator in the state, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Bauchi that the orientation for the corps members begins on Oct. 26 and ends on Nov.15. The prospective corps members would be allowed into the camp only after being certified COVID-19 free by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), he said.
Those that test positive to COVID-19 would be isolated at the NCDC centre outside the orientation camp for treatment, he said, adding that only 200 persons would be registered per day.
“Registration dates have been assigned to each prospective corps member to avoid overcrowding.
A total of 200 persons will be allowed for registration each day.
“Participants are advised to adhere strictly to COVID-19 safety measures put in place by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the NCDC.
“Defaulters will be sanctioned in accordance with the NYSC by-laws,’’ Abubakar said.
He advised the corps members to be punctual, be diligent and to comply with the camp’s acceptable dress code.
“Negligence of the NYSC dressing code will not be tolerated,’’ the coordinator stressed.
he Federal Government on Wednesday inaugurated the campaign to create awareness on the danger of mis-use of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and other related drugs in the livestock sub sector.
Speaking at the awareness event in Karu, Abuja, Dr Maimuna Habib, the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria (CVON), said the sensitisation was meant to tackle the growing problem of resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines.
The official, who the sensitisation was meant to discuss and expose the dangers of AMR, stated that the campaign was celebrated globally with the aim of increasing awareness of antimicrobial resistance worldwide.
Habib, is also the Director of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
She said that AMR was one of the hidden killer dragons that had caused the death of millions of people and animals all over world, including Nigeria.
Habib explained that antimicrobials were drugs or substances manufactured to either kill or inhibits the growth of disease-causing microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, protozoans among others.
She said that the awareness was also to encourage best practices among the general public, farmers, animal, human and environmental health workers.
“The veterinarian by the nature of his or her training has adequate knowledge of the guidelines for the treatment of different infections or diseases,” she said.
She said that the veterinarian was able to recommend treatment durations and doses based on the best clinical evidence for each case.
” Application of these antimicrobials by unauthorized persons leads to misuse, overuse or abuse with attendant consequences.
” All over the world, the mis-use and overuse of antimicrobials are the main drivers in the development of antimicrobials resistance,” she said.
She explained that this meant the drugs that were manufactured or produced to kill or inhibit the growth of disease-causing organisms or pathogens could no longer work against them because they have developed resistance against the drug.
Habib said that the consequences of this drug resistance included loss of livelihoods and income, higher mortality, treatment failure and death among others.
She said that theme of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) 2022 is ” Preventing antimicrobial resistance together”.
Speaking, Dr Tochi Okowor, National Coordinator, Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Prevention and Control, Nigeria Centre For Disease Control (NCDC), urged abattoir operatives to keep their environment safe to prevent infections.
“It is essential that you observe all the preventive measures not just for yourselves , but for the animals you are slaughtering.
“It is equally important that you observe personal hygiene while processing animals for slaughter,” he said.
Okowor was represented by Dr Chinedu Okoroafor, of the NCDC.
At the Chief Palace, in Karu, the Sa’karuyi of Karu, Chief Emmanuel Yepwi, thanked the Federal Government for taking steps to create awareness on the dangers of over- use and mis- use of antimicrobial drugs.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), says it registered 4,153 Cholera infections between September 5 and October 2, 2022.
The NCDC said this via its official website on Wednesday, stating that 80 persons died from cholera across the country in September.
The agency also disclosed that since the beginning of 2022, 256 people from 31 states have died from cholera.
“Thirty-one states have reported suspected cholera cases in 2022. These are: Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara.
“In the reporting month (September 5 to October 2, 2022), nine states reported 4,153 suspected cases – Borno (2,626), Yobe (718), Gombe (317), Zamfara (212), Bauchi (119), Jigawa (95), Sokoto (47), Katsina (16) and Adamawa (three).
It said “As of October 2, 2022, a total of 10,745 suspected cases, including 256 deaths (CFR 2.4 per cent), have been reported from 31 states.
“Of the suspected cases since the beginning of the year, the age group, five to 14 years, is the most affected for males and females.
“Of all suspected cases, 48 per cent are males and 52 per cent are females.
“There was a 42 per cent increase in the number of new suspected cases in September – Epi Week 36 – 39 (4,153) – compared with August Epi Week 31 – 35 (2,428).
“In the reporting week, Borno (883), Gombe (97), Bauchi (15) Yobe (eight) and Sokoto (three) reported 1,006 suspected cases.
Borno and Gombe states accounted for 97 per cent of 1,006 suspected cases reported in Week 39,” it explained.
The NCDC said that the National multi-sectoral Cholera’s Technical Working Group continues to monitor response across states’ Cumulative Epi-Summary.
It said that cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with Vibrio cholerae bacteria.
According to it, People can get sick when they swallow food or water contaminated with cholera bacteria.
The agency said that the infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe and life-threatening.
“About one in 10 people with cholera will experience severe symptoms, which, in the early stages, include: profuse watery diarrhoea, sometimes described as ‘rice-water stools, vomiting, thirst, leg cramps and restlessness or irritability’,” it said.
The NCDC said that healthcare providers should look for signs of dehydration when examining a patient with profuse watery diarrhoea.
These include rapid heart rate, loss of skin elasticity, dry mucous membranes and low blood pressure.
It added that people with severe cholera can develop severe dehydration, which can lead to kidney failure.
“If left untreated severe dehydration can lead to shock, coma, and death within hours,” it said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Public Health experts have said that there is no end in sight to Nigeria‘s battle with recurrent cholera outbreaks as the country‘s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) practices remain poor.
A recent report on the state of water in the country, sanitation and hygiene in Nigeria showed that 83 per cent of household members in the country lack access to basic hygiene services.
The report revealed the low status of the country‘s WASH sector, with 90per cent of the country‘s population lacking access to complete basic water, sanitation, and hygiene services.
Nigeria has so far recorded 1,180 suspected cases of monkeypox.
The country also recorded 482 cases and seven deaths resulting from monkeypox in 2022. These were made known in Abuja by the Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Ifedayo Adetifa at a bi-weekly ministerial media conference anchored by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire.
Adetifa said the NCDC had developed a treatment regime which could entail the option of having antiviral treatment for those at the highest risk of having severe complications, hospitalisation and death.
“People with immunosuppression fall in that category.
People who have dual infection with chickenpox or monkeypox at the same time fall in that category.
“We want to be able to reduce the sufferings in patients and the death rate while working on an integrated, one health approach to bring monkeypox under control,’’ he said.
Adetifa also told the conference that Nigeria had so far recorded 933 confirmed cases of Lassa fever in 2022, which was about two and a half times higher than the number of cases recorded in 2021. He said there had been 173 Lassa fever deaths in 25 states and 102 local governments with 71 per cent of the deaths recorded in Ondo, Edo and Bauchi states.
“We continue to respond by providing treatment and infection prevention, as there are larger regional or international activities in terms of preparing for vaccine trials.
“Early phase of vaccine trial for Lassa fever has started in Liberia and there had been efforts to look at clinical drug development pathways.
“These are all in a bid to ensure that we reduce fatality which stands at two digits now, to hopefully a single digit,’’ he said.
The NCDC director-general also said that there had been 18,000 confirmed cases of measles in Nigeria and 234 resultant deaths in 2022. He noted that while the outbreak of measles was not as highly-reported as it was the case with other ailments, it was an ailment that was the cause of significant suffering and death in children.
He said children under the age of five years were particularly at risk and that at the moment 40 local government areas had active cases.
Adetifa stressed that the centre had continued to encourage parents to vaccinate children against measles to bring it under control.
He said Nigeria also recorded 10,217 cholera cases and 233 deaths in 31 states and 243 local government areas, taking the country to an unenviable position of recording the highest number of cholera cases worldwide.
“We recorded cholera infection everywhere where there were challenges with water, sanitation and hygiene so it does not matter whether the neighbourhood looks rich or looks developed.
“If you have challenges of water, sanitation and hygiene, cholera is not far behind.
“At the moment, we are about to send rapid response teams to Adamawa, Bornu, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina and Yobe because of the rapid increases in case numbers,’’ he said.
Adetifa said also that that there was an on-going outbreak of Ebola in Uganda caused by the Sudan strain of the virus, which had become worrisome because of the West African experience.
He expressed anxiety that the Sudan strain of Ebola virus was not covered by available vaccines and that there were neither licenced vaccines nor treatments for it.
He assured, however, that all concerned authorities were on high alert given the realities of globalisation and the fact that an infection such as Ebola was just a plane flight away from any country.
“We have a bit of reassurance because we have some experience in handling Ebola.
“We have the diagnostic capacity; but we will rather not have it.
We would rather not have to respond to it especially with the strain that has no vaccines and no licensed treatments.
“Point of entry surveillance is at a very high level.
Passengers travelling from Uganda or who passed through Uganda are being followed up for 21 days to ensure that their health is clear.
“The difference between Ebola and something like COVID-19 is that victims need to be actually sick and symptomatic before they can transmit.
“Ebola allows professionals to pick up likely suspects early but what it also means is that at the time that the victims is identified, everybody around is at significant risk.
’’ he said.
Giving COVID-19 updates, Adetifa said that in the more than two years into the outbreak, Nigeria had conducted more five million tests; confirmed 65,741 cases and 3,155 deaths.
He confirmed that with additional tests, the spread of COVID-19 had slowed down significantly to the odd one here and there.
Adetifa encouraged Nigerians to receive the available vaccines to prevent the emergence of new variants.
“At the moment, we are working to review the COVID-19 guidelines and hopefully we will ease or roll back the remaining restrictions.
“We shall put measures in place to assess the impact of the roll back especially with imminent new type travels and the expected end-of- year gatherings.
“We will be putting in place enhanced surveillance through testing, targeting 12 states at the moment to ensure that with epidemiological data, we can pick up any changes that occur and respond appropriately,’’ he said.
In his contribution, Dr Faisal Shuaibu, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said 55,663,574 persons had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine as at Oct. 9. The figure represented 49.8 per cent of the eligible target set for the vaccine, he said.
Shuaibu who was represented by the Director, Community Health Services, Dr Usman Adamu, said that 42,851,999 persons, representing 38.3 per cent of the eligible target had been fully vaccinated.
“About 81,480,282 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have so far been administered in Nigeria and only 123,202 mild to moderate cases of adverse reactions to the vaccines were recorded with no related death.
“This confirms the fact that the COVID-19 vaccines used in the country are very safe and effective,’’ he stressed.
He called on all eligible persons living within Nigeria who were yet to be vaccinated or who had not completed their COVID-19 vaccination to do so without further delay.