Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa upscale campaign against air, waterborne diseases
Health authorities in Bauchi, Gombe and Jigawa have step up campaign to put a final onslaught on dreaded airborne and waterborne diseases as the rainy season draws to an end.
Officials of the health agencies and other stakeholders said the states had initiated viable programmes to enhance awareness creation activities on the diseases, improve hygiene and sanitation as well as healthcare service delivery at the grassroots.
They spoke in separate interviews in Bauchi, Dutse and Gombe while responding to a survey on air and waterborne diseases by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), airborne diseases can spread through a direct or an indirect form of transmission, depending on the germ involved.
Airborne diseases are caused by pathogenic microbes small enough to be discharged from an infected person via coughing, sneezing, laughing and close personal contact.
Types of airborne disease include Common cold; Chickenpox, Mumps, Measles, Whooping cough, COVID-19, Aspergillosis, Tuberculosis (TB), Anthrax, Diphtheria, and Meningitis.
On the other hand, waterborne diseases are illnesses caused by microscopic organisms like viruses and bacteria that are ingested through contaminated water or by coming in contact with feces.
They include Typhoid Fever, Cholera, Giardia, Dysentery, Escherichia Coli, Hepatitis A, and Salmonella.
The Gombe State Public Health Emergency Operation Centre (PHEOC), said it has developed an Emergency Preparedness Plan to curb outbreak of diseases.
Dr Arnold Abel, the Director Medical Services in the state Ministry of Health, said the measure was necessary to protect the public against transmission of airborne infectious agents.
“We have done hotspot mapping where we listed all communities at risk for waterborne diseases like cholera, and we have been disinfecting water sources every two weeks.
“We are using chlorine as well as sharing aqua tabs to households that fetch water from ponds or streams,” he said.
Abel said drugs and consumables had been provided in strategic locations to facilitate rapid response to outbreaks like Cerebral Spinal Meningitis (CSM).
“This effort gain acceptance because we have continued to educate the public via radio jingles and sensitised community and religious leaders on our plans.
“Health workers are moving into the communities for Active Case Search and isolation for treatment to break cycle of infection,” he said.
According to Abel, health workers are being exposed to case detection and management, adding that free treatment are available in public health facilities across the state.
Similarly; the Jigawa government said it had put in place effective measures to stem outbreak of air and waterborne diseases in the state.
The Coordinator, Tropical Diseases in the state Ministry of Health, Dr Ashiru Adurrahman, said the state was conducting seasonal disease treatment in concert with the Federal Government and development partners.
He said health surveillance unit and other agencies had been fully mobilised for rapid response services during emergencies.
“Our coordinated health ambassadors have been trained and prepared to report outbreak of any disease across the state,’’ he said.
According to him, the development partners are providing medication, logistics and capacity building for health personnel to control outbreak while the state government had mobilised community and religious leaders to enhance awareness creation on the diseases.
“Our level of response
and preparedness to outbreak of diseases is always high with support of the Federal Gvernment,” he said.
Meanwhile, a nongovernmental organisation, Save the Children International (SCI) has urged the Jigawa government to accelerate actions towards ending the under-five mortality from vaccine preventable diseases.
The Media and Communications Manager of the organisation, Mr Kunle Olawoyin, said that only 36 per cent of children aged between 12 and 23 months received all recommended vaccines in Nigeria.
He stressed the need for stakeholders to strive towards ensuring that no child dies from preventable diseases.
“Immunisation saves the lives of children and it is a globally recognised world’s most successful health interventions.
“The benefits of vaccines are fully realised when children receive all recommended vaccine doses on time,” Olawayin said.
More so; Mr Ezekiel Sukumum, a Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) expert in Bauchi State, advocated for provision of portable drinking water to curb outbreak of waterborne diseases.
He advised the people to drink clean water to protect them from contracting preventable diseases.
“Poor access to safe drinking water leads to diseases and deaths.
“It is important to keep your environment clean and ensure proper waste management,” he said.
Also commenting, Dr Abdulkadeer Baba, the One-Health Focal Officer in the Bauchi State Ministry of Agriculture, called for proper management of animal waste to eradicate waterborne diseases.
He attributed spate of disease transmission in humans to zoonosis, adding that, “about 75 per cent of emerging diseases are zoonotic and 80 per cent transmitted through water.
“Animal keepers, poultry and farm owners should devise means of managing waste to avoid water contamination,” he said.