NCDC Holds ‘Emergency Meeting’ Over Unknown Illness In Sokoto, Zamfara

The Director General Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Jide Idris.
The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), Dr Jide Idris, hosted an emergency meeting with the Commissioners for Health from Sokoto and Kaduna States over an unknown illness in Sokoto and Zamfara states. 

According to s statement by the NCDC, the meeting which was held on Tuesday at at NCDC’s Headquarters in Abuja also had the DG speak on telephone with Zamfara’s State Commissioner.

The statement said that Idris and the commissioners discussed the current situation, provided updates on response efforts, and agreed on further measures to contain and mitigate the impact of the illness suspected to be heavy metal poisoning possibly linked to mining activities.

“As of today, a total of 196 suspected cases of the unknown illness with seven (7) deaths have been reported across Isa, Sabon Birni, and Ilella Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Sokoto State. Results of the analyses on the various samples sent to the different sister laboratories including NIPRID, NAFDAC and NIMR are being awaited.

“Following reports of similar cases in Zamfara State, another National Rapid Response Team (NRRT) will be deployed this week to assess the situation and provide support to the state.,”the statement read in part.

The NCDC urged affected and nearby communities even in Kaduna State, given its proximity to Sokoto and Zamfara states, to report any symptoms including fever, abdominal swelling and pain, vomiting, and weight loss to the nearest health facility or call NCDC toll free line (6232).

Healthcare workers were also urged to report any suspected cases to LGA/State Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer or State Epidemiologist.