Cholera: States Must End Open Defecation, Says Minister


The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Muhammad Ali Pate, has called on state governments to end open defecation to prevent the outbreak of infectious diseases like Cholera, Typhoid Fever and Tuberculosis.

“Bringing the states is very important,” the minister said on Wednesday while calling for a multi-sectorial approach to curbing the spread of Cholera.

“Some states have done a lot of work on open defecation. Jigawa is one of the states that was declared open defecation-free in Nigeria.

“So, there are lessons to be learnt. We have to deal with open defecation as a problem. A quarter of our population still practices open defecation.

“Of course, there are differences across the states between urban and rural areas but we need to mobilise collectively as a people – public sector and private sector – to really address this and encourage the behavior of our people so that faeces will not come into contact with the water that people drink and the food that people consume.”

The health minister also said the Federal Government has mobilised resources to contain the spread of Cholera in the country.


Prof Pate said a technical working group was activated through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to support states to reduce the transmission of the infectious disease and treat those who have been infected.

“31 states are affected, 107 local governments are affected,” the health minister said, adding that about 1,500 Cholera cases have been recorded so far in the country.

Prof Pate assured Nigerians that the Cholera outbreak would be minimised from spreading to more states and local government areas.

“The Cholera outbreak is part of a global phenomenon. Cholera is a public health crisis and a disease that comes within the contact of contamination of food, water, poor sanisation, developmental challenges and deficit in infrastructure, open defecation prevalent in many parts of the country is fueling the outbreak,” he said.


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