In response to the cholera outbreak affecting Nigeria, the EU is supporting medical humanitarian NGO ALIMA’s (The Alliance for International Medical Action) ongoingefforts to reduce fatality rates in Yobe state, with N192 million (€400 000).
As of 26 September 2021, over 88563suspected cases of cholera and3,057 suspected deaths were reported in Nigeria. 78% of the states in the country have reportedsuspected cholera cases. Children between 5 and 14 years old are the most affected, while the North-East state of Yobe has recorded one of the highest incidence.
“The EU’s support will allow our partner, ALIMA, to strengthen case management, to reduce fatality rates, as well asto support referrals from communities or to ensure access to safe water and sanitationin health facilities,” saidBart Witteveen, who heads the EU’s Humanitarian Aid Office in Nigeria.
The current outbreak has spread over the border with Niger, an additional challenge as the health system is also under pressure due to the current malaria season. The intense rain season increases therisk of flooding and of malnutrition cases.
For Dr. AnthelmeSeka, ALIMA’s Medical Coordinator in Nigeria, “this support from the European Union is critical because it will help save more lives. Thanks to this funding, ALIMA is already able to begin its actions on the ground to respond to the ongoing outbreak, with the sole objective being to provide quality emergency medical care to the most affected local communities.”
Furthermore, access to vulnerable communities for cholera vaccination is increasingly challenging, due to insecurity triggering population movements in the country’s northern regions. The situation is further worsened by the overlap with the COVID-19 pandemic.