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ALGON National President, Hon Aminu Mu'azu Maifata
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Cholera Outbreak: ALGON Appeals For Urgent Action To Save Communities, Laments Prolonged Poor Financial Status

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The National President of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) Hon. Aminu Mu’azu Maifata has appealed to all Local Government Chairmen across the country to expedite action within their capability to localize all responsive strategies and mitigation plans in their various Councils to contain the outbreak of Cholera across the country which is presently declared as a National Emergency by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

Worried by this development, Hon. Maifata spoke on Wednesday on arrival from Lafia the Nasarawa state capital ahead of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) event at the Congress Hall Presidential Villa; marking the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2024.

He decried the low level of personal and environmental hygiene in all the communities which he said makes the rural populace most vulnerable to its spread due to several risk factors, lack of information, habit, movement, ignorance, and speed of contamination due to poor awareness or advocacy.

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He noted that with its declaration as a national emergency; having affected 31 states presently, ALGON is embarking on a massive sensitization programme with the use of local awareness channels like town criers, town hall meetings, inter-faith gatherings, and public enlightenment campaigns to sensitize the people, with emphasis on causes, infection, case management, risk courses with other intervention strategies against such existential threats within its limited resources.

He lamented that strengthening the Local Government was long overdue as its poor financial status has robbed it of numerous responsibilities as enshrined in the 4th Schedule to the 1999 Constitution as Amended; amongst which are the present hindrance of its public Health component in governance that has prevented the political will to check the spread.

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He appealed to the Federal and State Governments to come to the aid of the Local Governments and Councils to encourage and compliment their efforts for the desired impact aimed at containing the catastrophe. Hon Maifata promised that ALGON will engage and mobilize the Chairmen of LGAs and see that the messaging on the outbreak is well cascaded to the communities through massive enlightenment campaigns.

He listed some strategies to promote safety consciousness like washing hands to curb transmission, and conscientize the people on the need to cook food thoroughly, which needs to be well communicated. Issues like the use of toilets, washing of hands, sterilizing of plastic bottles for re-use, use of public toilets where they exist, zero tolerance to open defecation, promoting good hygiene alongside the need for the community to keep their environment clean amongst other health needs as part of efforts to achieve universal health coverage under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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The ALGON National President appealed to the Director General of NCDC, The Federal Ministries of Environment and Water Resources, the National Primary Health Care Development, Agency, the Red Cross, USAID, and other stakeholders, to urgently ensure the inclusion of the Local Government Health and Community Workers in their multi-sectoral National Cholera Technical Working Action Roll Out to get their report and feedback for an effective responsive plan to control the catastrophe.

It will be recalled that the recent statistics of the NCDC on deaths across the states of the federation have been alarmingly worsened by apathy, negative perception about the Cholera vaccine, and its scarcity, the best bet according to him is the basic orientation to avoid contamination.

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Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.

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