Tinubu establishes presidential committee to coordinate cholera response


President Bola Tinubu has directed the setting up of a presidential committee to oversee the Cholera Emergency Operation Centre, which will be led by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to address the ongoing cholera outbreak in Nigeria

The committee will coordinate emergency operation centres and work closely with the Minister of Health to ensure an effective response to the surge in cholera cases across the country

Ali Pate, coordinating minister of health and social welfare, told State House correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday, June 25, 2024 that Tinubu approved the creation of the committee during the federal executive council (FEC) meeting.

On Monday, the NCDC activated a national cholera multi-sectoral emergency operations centre.

Cholera is a food and water-borne disease, caused by the ingestion of the organism Vibrio cholerae in contaminated water and food.

Lagos is currently tackling an outbreak of the disease, while many other states are recording cases as well.

Pate said the committee would comprise members from the ministries of health, finance, water resources, environment, youth, aviation, and education.

He said the cabinet committee’s efforts would complement the support by state governments to reduce open defecation, noting that cholera is a developmental issue requiring a multi-sectoral approach.

“The president directed that a cabinet committee be set up to oversee what the emergency operation centre led by NCDC is doing and for the resources to be provided, complemented by the state government,” Pate said.

“At the moment, about 31 states have recorded 1,528 cases and 53 deaths in Nigeria, which is what we are working on through the emergency operation centre that was activated by the NCDC on Monday.

“Now we have a cholera outbreak, which we discussed extensively in the council in addition to the new emergence of yellow fever, specifically in Bayelsa state.

“On cholera, we are in the middle of the 7th pandemic globally. The world has almost 500,000 cases of cholera, so it is not only peculiar to Nigeria.

“In 2023, almost 700,000 cases of cholera were reported by the World Health Organisation.

“This year, more than 200,000 cases have occurred in five regions of the world.”
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