By Chioma Iruke
The Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergency Intelligence, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu has stated that Nigeria lost more of its citizens to Cholera than it did to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Ihekweazu made this statement Monday night while appearing as a guest on a television program monitored by Heritage Times.
According to Ihekweazu who was former Director General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), the issue did not get enough national attention due to the global pandemic, and the fact that majority of those affected belonged to the lower stratum of the society.
“For this calendar year, we had lost more people to cholera than COVID, but it wasn’t part of the conversation because people affected belonged to the lesser class of the society.
“Part of our role is to solve the problem and something like cholera is caused by poor water supply. But notwithstanding, COVID has helped our leaders see the need to improve the health sector,” he explained.
The Assistant DG recalled that during his time as the head of the NCDC, he had conducted a survey in Kano and Abuja.
According to him, the result showed that 40 percent of the population had been infected with the COVID-19 disease, but were unaware because they were not clinically Ill.
Responding to questions regarding collaboration of African countries as regards the health sector, the WHO Designate noted that the African Center for Disease Control (ACDC) created by John Kengason, had played a vital role in ensuring the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He noted that the ACDC ensured that African countries joined forces together and even purchased the vaccines on behalf of most countries in the continent.