Cholera Outbreak: Nigeria Runs Out Of Vaccine

Cholera Outbreak: Nigeria Runs Out Of Vaccine
  • PublishedJune 22, 2024

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has disclosed that the country does not have enough vaccines to prevent the recent cholera outbreak.

The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr Jide Idris, who made this known, said Nigeria has placed an order for more cholera vaccines from donor agencies, even though the date of delivery is still unknown.

The NCDC boss stressed the need for the country to embrace the use of vaccines and other preventive measures to curb the spread of acute diarrhoeal infection.

The NCDC boss while speaking with Saturday PUNCH, said while it is the National Primary Health Care Development Agency that is dealing with the issue of cholera vaccines, he is aware that the health minister has requested more vaccines from donor agencies.

READ: Cholera: Death Toll Rises To 24 As Lagos Records 417 Cases

“I know that the minister has requested more vaccines. But, I don’t know when they will come, because other countries also make requests internationally. I know that when they come, NPHCDA will decide how to distribute or use them.

“We don’t have enough to prevent an outbreak, because we need to give these things before that time. The problem is that to get vaccines, we need to plan ahead, and we don’t have the funds. Most countries plan ahead. When it comes to health security, we are supposed to stockpile some things in anticipation of an emergency.

“We don’t manufacture vaccines. We get them from donor agencies, just like any other country does. Whatever they supply will not be enough for us to use and in any case, it doesn’t give long-lasting immunity, so it has to be a combination of all control measures.

“The minister has requested support for these vaccines. He told me that last week. When they will come, I don’t know. However, we don’t necessarily have to rely on all those things if we can adopt other control measures,” the NCDC boss said.

Dr Idris also noted that the demand for cholera vaccines outpaces supply, adding that to consistently have adequate vaccines to curb diseases, the nation must plan ahead. He also stressed that Nigeria must embrace a combination of preventive measures to curb cholera outbreaks, noting that cholera vaccines are not long-lasting.

“Cholera vaccine demand is far ahead of supply so most people who need them place orders and plan ahead. It is the same thing with all vaccines, not just cholera.

“We also know that cholera vaccines are not long-lasting. They only work for some time, so a combination of vaccines where necessary and all other preventive measures are the mainstay of the effort to curb the infection.

“The mainstay is to treat people if they are dehydrated, so they can replace lost fluids, maintain personal, environmental and sanitary hygiene, etc. We talk about boiling water before eating, washing hands after using the toilet, and before and after preparing food. If anybody suspects contamination, they should boil water before drinking and using it. It is a combination of all these preventive measures that will go a long way in helping to curb the outbreak,” Idris said.

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