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, and contact with the contaminated flood which supports the transmission of infectious diseases and can lead to outbreaks. Flood also provides a breeding ground for disease vectors.
Since the beginning of July 2017, Nigeria has experienced flooding in 16 states. This has resulted in the destruction of properties, injuries, and deaths.
The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) is constantly monitoring the situation by issuing regular flood alerts. This year’s Annual Flood Outlook has determined that about 30 states and 100 local government areas are deemed to be high flood risk areas.
To reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever and poliomyelitis; 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, and offers the following advice to Nigerians;
• Do not drink flood water, or use it to wash dishes, brush teeth, or wash/prepare food
• Communities should ensure chlorination of the public source of water supply
• Ensure proper disposal of waste and clearing of sewage
• Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water
• Discard all medicines, food and bottled water contaminated by flood water.
• In homes, ensure water is well boiled before drinking
• Avoid open defecation and indiscriminate refuse dumping
• Avoid mosquito bites by using an Insecticide Treated Net
• Ensure safe food preparation techniques
• If you experience sudden fever or diarrhea, please visit a health care facility immediately
• Health workers should observe universal care precautions at all times
NCDC toll-free number: 0800-970000-10