President Bola Tinubu has directed the Federal Executive Council, FEC, to set up a committee to oversee the cholera emergency operation centre operated by the National Centre For Disease Control, NCDC. The Minister of Health, Dr Ali Pate, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the council meeting presided over by the President at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja. He also disclosed that the cabinet committee would comprise members from the Federal Ministry of Health, Finance, Water Resources, Environment, Youth, Aviation and Education.

He added that the committee’s effort was in addition to state government support to ensure Nigeria made progress in reducing open defecation.

The minister said: “The council then approved a cabinet committee comprising the federal ministries of health, ministry of finance, water resources, environment, youth, aviation, and education because some of our children will be returning to school.

“In addition to this, the state governments will be co-opted so that Nigeria makes progress in reducing open defecation because cholera is a developmental issue that requires a multi-sectoral approach.

“The President directed that cabinet committee be set up to oversee what the emergency operation centre led by NCDC is doing and for the resources to be provided, complemented by state governments.”

The minister said that at the moment, 31 states had recorded 1528 cases in Nigeria with 53 deaths.

“At the moment about 31 states have recorded 1528 cases and 53 deaths in Nigeria that is what we are working on through the emergency operation centre that was activated by NCDC on Monday.

“Now we have a cholera outbreak and we discussed it extensively in the Council in addition to a new emergence of yellow fever specifically in Bayelsa State.

“On cholera, we are in the middle of the 7th pandemic globally which is …decades in the making in 2022 the world had almost 500,000 cases of cholera so it is not only peculiar to Nigeria. In 2023 almost 700,000 cases of cholera were reported by the World Health Organisation. This year, more than 200,000 cases have occurred in five regions of the World,” he added.

He also emphasised that a multi-sectoral approach was required to tackle the outbreak.