10 Key Messages To Prevent Disease Outbreaks During Flooding
The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have recently issued a warning alert of flooding, which may affect 13 States in Nigeria.
Most of the States are around the Rivers Niger and Benue.
Flooding is an event of public health interest due to the resultant outcomes of mortality, morbidity, displacement, loss of property and livelihood. In addition, there is an increased risk of contamination of water supply.
Contact with contaminated water increases the risk of transmission of infectious diseases and can lead to outbreaks. Flood sites also provide a breeding ground for disease vectors.
To reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever; and vector-borne diseases such as malaria and yellow fever during flooding, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) advises that precautionary measures should be taken. We offer ten key messages to Nigerians:
1. Do not drink flood water, or use it to wash dishes, brush teeth, or wash/prepare food
2. Communities should ensure chlorination of the public source of water supply
3. Ensure proper disposal of waste and clearing of sewage
4. Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water
5. Discard all medicines, food and bottled water contaminated by flood water
6. In homes, ensure water is well boiled before drinking
7. Avoid open defecation and indiscriminate refuse dumping
8. Avoid mosquito bites by ensuring consistent use of an Insecticide Treated Net
9. Health workers should observe universal care precautions at all time
10. If you experience sudden fever or diarrhea, please visit a health care facility IMMEDIATELY