By: Khadija Kawunda & Prudence Okonna
The Health & Human Services Secretariat (HHSS) Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has embarked on the 2022 cholera sensitization to over ten rural communities in the FCT.
The sensitization campaign being led by the Public Health Department was part of proactive steps taken by the Secretariat to promote the adoption of appropriate hygiene practices to prevent the spread of cholera in the Territory.
The sensitization kick-started with social mobilization alongside community engagements is part of the long-term strategies employed by the Public Health Department PHD, towards changes in behaviour and control of cholera and other water-borne diseases in the Federal Capital City.
The Director of the Public health department Dr. Sadiq Abdulrahman on a live program on AIT and NTA channel 5, Abuja, said the goal was to reduce the level of casualties to the barest minimum, hence the reason for the proactive steps this year, in order to eradicate and/or the spread of cholera, unlike last year where it recorded a number of casualties.
In furtherance of its sensitization strategy, the Incident manager on cholera, PHD, Dr. Theresa Nwachukwu, was live on the Nigeria Info FM, “Health is Wealth programme”, to enlighten listeners on Cholera. Meanwhile, the Unit Head, Health Education and Promotion, Hayiya Hauwa Suleiman, was also at Wazobia FM to give a health talk. In the same vein, The Divisional head of environmental and occupational health, PHD, Dr. Adeyemi Olubunmi was on Nigeria Info FM.
The sensitization program is aimed at promoting the adoption of appropriate hygiene practices such as regular hand washing with soap and water or Ash, drinking clean water, use of chlorine in water, cooking food thoroughly, washing fruits and vegetables before eating, and most importantly the need to shun open defecation.
One recurring piece of advice on these sensitization programmes was the need to use latrines or defecate in holes and prioritize personal hygiene.
These messages were taken to a wider audience on the grass root across the FCT, to increase awareness for preparedness during the rainy seasons and the usual seasonal cholera outbreak.
To further educate the residents of FCT to take precautionary measures regarding Cholera, the Risk Communication unit of PHD, also took to different communities to enlighten them.
The communities visited by the risk communication team include Garki Area 2, Kabusa, Nyanya, Gosa and Garki markets, and motor parks. Other communities include Chibiri, chukuku, and Kuje central respectivel y to promote the adoption of appropriate hygiene practices to prevent the spread of cholera in the FCT.