The Federal Ministry of Water Resources has commenced routine training for Health Education Officers towards ending cholera outbreaks in Open Defecation Free Local Government Areas in the country.
The Desk Officer in charge of hygiene in the ministry, Mrs. Ayaba Kogbara, made this known in Abuja on Wednesday, during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
Kogbara said that the ministry was concerned that open defecation-free local government areas were still reporting cholera cases, noting that the development necessitated the immediate deployment of its personnel to carry out hygiene training.
She recalled that many communities were still reporting cholera cases due to non-adherence to hygiene, stressing that handwashing was critical to breaking faecal-oral transmission of diseases.
“Handwashing is the first barrier to disease transmission. We must build a barrier to cholera through construction of toilets. Food hygiene is crucial. Cover your food properly from flies, and make sure they are cooked properly,’’ she advised.
The 2021 Nigeria Centre for Disease Control cholera situation report showed that on January 2, a total of 111,062 suspected cholera cases including, 3,604 deaths were reported from 33 states and the FCT.
It revealed that four states reported the following cases: Bauchi -19,558, Jigawa -15,141, Kano -12,116 and Zamfara – 11,931.
And that eleven local government areas across five states with four in Bauchi, four in Zamfara, one in Kano, one in Katsina and one in Borno, reporting more than 1,000 cases.
Kogbara said due to the cholera outbreak last year, a five-day training was organised by the ministry in the open defecation free LGAs in Jigawa.
According to her, the training was aimed at re-exposing the LGA WASH department staff to key hygiene activities in community and school, and new skills on hygiene promotion.
She added that the measure was in order to move the open defecation free LGAs and communities to total sanitation.
“At the end of the training, participants came up with an action plan for the implementation of hygiene promotion in their LGAs,’’ she added.
The desk officer noted that hygiene promotion had five domains including, personal hygiene with emphases on hand washing with soap and water as well as safe water chain management.
Others are safe excreta disposal, including child’s excreta; food and home hygiene and environmental hygiene, including liquid and solid waste.
She added that plans were on-going to train personnel in all open defecation free local government area, noting that hygiene promotion was to ensure total sanitation and mitigate cholera and other disease outbreaks.