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Overcrowded camps and facilities increase Cholera transmission. The breakdown of Bauchi State water facility led to inadequate supply to the correctional centre and some neighbouring communities. The 1,000-capacity correctional centre recorded eight cases admitted to the Cholera treatment centre. Action Against Hunger intervened by supplying 460,000 litres of water to increase access to safe chlorinated drinking water to over one thousand persons in the centre, even exceeding set emergency standards.
Four thousand tablets of aqua tabs were also donated to the correctional centre to support storage and promote treatment and access to safe drinking water at all times. 12 Oral Rehydration Points (ORP) were also set up at designated primary healthcare centres in hotspot locations within Bauchi LGA reinforcing support to patients and community members suffering from diarrhoea.
Responding to disease outbreaks are challenging, and successful interventions cannot be achieved without effective and efficient partnership. Action Against Hunger recognized the role of local structures, government agencies, INGOs and other civil societies to adequately deliver assistance to affected populations. From engaging the Bauchi state Environmental Protection Agency for the emptying of latrines to identifying caseloads from Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) to ensure effective contact tracing. The partnership enabled Action Against Hunger to identify patients’ households to visit and disinfect. Community health volunteers were essential in further
combatting the spread in Bauchi and Toro LGAs. These volunteers were trained to conduct hygiene promotion sensitization and active case management. Action Against Hunger also supported the state ministry of health to set up regular coordination meetings and trained the state/LGA rapid response team. The State Primary Healthcare Development Agency provided the working space and a warehouse to store the Cholera hygiene kits distributed to households. The primary healthcare level remains essential in achieving universal health and prevention coverage.
Skilled health workers are the backbones of strong and resilient health systems. Action Against Hunger trained health care workers from the different primary healthcare centres to identify and manage Cholera cases.
The timely intervention has increased community members’ awareness of Cholera and preventive measures to stay safe. To ensure improved access to water and basic sanitation services, WASH should be invested in and prioritized by all sectors. Action Against Hunger continues to strengthen the capacity of the government and communities at all levels as well as stakeholders to effectively deliver interventions for the good of everyone.
Outbreaks know no border and they spread faster than can be imagined thereby requiring extended period of intervention. Currently, Action Against Hunger has received additional funding to strengthen the work done in Bauchi and Kano states as well as expand to new locations which include Jigawa, Sokoto, Yobe and the Federal Capital Territory. The Cholera outbreak is the worst Nigeria has ever experienced with Bauchi, Kano and Jigawa States accounting for 48% of all
cumulative cases as at September 2021. There is no better time than now to emphasize the power of effective handwashing practices to save lives and ensure a healthier future for everyone. Action Against Hunger in collaboration with USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance and Johns Hopkins University is also working on a research to determine the effectiveness of our methodology on the case area targeted intervention case.
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