Cholera and Covid pose ‘existential threat’ to Nigeria

Dealing with a cholera outbreak at the same time as the highly contagious Delta strain of coronavirus is posing an existential threat to Nigeria, the head of the country’s public health agency says.

More than half of the country’s 36 states have been hit by cholera outbreak and hundreds of victims have died, many of them children, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says.

The dense population of some Nigerian cities as well as fatigue over preventative cautions were also contributing to the surge in Covid-19 infections, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu told the BBC.

A strike by doctors in public hospitals was making matters even more difficult, the NCDC boss said

“There couldn’t be a worse time to have a strike at the moment,” he said, appealing for it to be called off.

The strike, over delayed salaries and allowances, has entered its second week.

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