Nigeria is expected to receive about nine million doses of Oral cholera vaccines, OCV, to tackle the spate of cholera outbreak in the country.
The country representative, World Health Organization, WHO. Dr Walter Mulombo made this known at the opening ceremony of the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC) training on in Abuja.
The training organised by WHO aims to integrate OCV into the emergency and preventive measures of cholera in Nigeria.
According to Mr Mulombo, the expected vaccines will ensure the implementation of two campaigns in 14 LGAs across nine states, including the Federal Capital Territory.
He said this would significantly mitigate the risk of an upsurge of cholera cases, especially during the rainy season.
However he explained that over 1.7 million persons have already been vaccinated with two doses of OCV across seven LGAs in four states; Bauchi, Jigawa, Yobe and Zamfara.
He advised that all vaccination campaigns be used to specifically target areas with huge zero doses and ensure children are not only offered OCV but all routine vaccination.
The WHO country representative highlighted some challenges identified at the 2021 annual GTFCC stakeholder meeting to include poor-quality reactive and preventative OCV campaign, lack of OCV use as an outbreak response in some settings and inadequate monitoring and evaluation of OCV campaigns.
All these challenges he said must be urgently addressed for countries to win the fight against cholera.
The minister of health, Dr Osagie Ehanire described the OCV as a tool for prevention and control of cholera outbreaks, “which has become a recurrent seasonal public health challenge in many low and lower-middle-income countries like Nigeria.
Dr Ehanire the traditional measures for cholera prevention and control have been to provide potable water and improve hygiene, adding that the OCV is an additional tool in fighting cholera outbreaks in the country.