Public health consequences of flooding: evaluation of Cholera outbreak in Nigeria
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Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1688
Background and Objective: Floods are the most common disaster worldwide and present a significant public health concern in countries where infectious diseases are endemic. The relentless rain in Nigeria, alongside the release of the Lagdo dam in Cameroon, Resultsed in the most severe flooding in the past decade that struck at the same time as a worrying cholera outbreak. This study aimed to evaluate how floods influence the incidence of infectious diseases. Methods: We conducted a narrative review of evidence to answer the aim of the study. Articles were retrieved from PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, and Science Direct from 2017 to 2022. Twenty-one studies were included with the Keywords in the title or abstract. Epidemiological data were obtained from newspapers and national country reports. We analyzed data on the incidence of infectious diseases during flooding compared to other years. Results: Our findings revealed that multiple health impacts from flooding occur, from injury and death during an evacuation to worsened allergic symptoms, gastrointestinal infections, skin diseases, and mental health problems. As of October 2022 in Nigeria, the floods increased the incidence of infectious diseases such as malaria, cholera, and typhoid. More than 6000 suspected cholera cases and a 4-5% case fatality ratio were recorded. This is believed to be due to the high consumption of contaminated water, worsened sanitary conditions, and limited access to healthcare facilities. Conclusions: The consequences of flooding pose significant challenges to public health. This study suggests improved health promotion and preventive measures for flooding to reduce current and future vulnerability to disease. There is a need for enhanced surveillance systems with an emphasis on training front-line health workers toward timely detection, reporting and response.