Nigeria is currently in the middle of a cholera outbreak. On June 24, 2024, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced an emergency centre to manage the epidemic. 

To support these efforts, two Nigerians have built a microsite with a primer on Cholera and the information people need to stay safe and protect themselves. 

Check it out here

Every effort to manage a disease outbreak starts with a public alert. The health agencies (Think: the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the respective Ministry of Health)  sound an alarm. They say, “Hey, you should know we’re dealing with this thing. It’s dangerous, and here’s how you can protect yourself.”

Naturally, there’s always a response to this. People, highly aroused by this information they’ve received, want to know more. They want to learn how to stay safe. So, they ask, “How do I ensure I don’t get this thing? After this thing goes away, there will be a life; I want to be alive and well for it. 

Depending on your age, you’ve probably lived through a similar scenario at least twice. Let’s start with the 2014 Ebola outbreak. As health workers worked quickly, around the clock, to control the spread of the disease, someone decided that salt water was the cure and passed the “information” on. Many people believed it, and it was all they drank for a period. 

As we found out, that was untrue. 

Then, in late 2019, another threatening you-know-what disease broke out. Again, the alarm sounded, and people searched everywhere to find out how to stay safe. But when a vaccine was developed, scores of people hesitated to take it, fearing that it contained microchips and could make you magnetic. This was also untrue. 

Now, it’s 2024, and Nigeria is going through another outbreak — cholera this time.  Although it’s not on the scale of the previous ones, it’s an outbreak nonetheless. In less than three weeks, over 1000 suspected cases and more than 300

deaths have been recorded. 

It is ironic, though, and even dangerous that during these times, misinformation tends to become rife: a present and persistent danger — the opp of all outbreak management and control efforts. 

There are consistent patterns in people’s behaviours and interactions with misinformation during emotionally-charged periods like this. There is no better time to have sources of truth represented. 

Hassan Yahaya remembers the (mis) information frenzy of the 2014 Ebola outbreak. He also remembers a helpful tool he found — EbolaFacts.  Built by Big Cabal Media,  the microsite had credible information Nigerians needed to protect themselves from the virus[ the company also built a similar tool in the wake of the COVID pandemic].

Driven by the space occupied in the world at the time, Hassan wondered what a version of that might look like in the context of the ongoing Cholera outbreak. He got to work with Dipo Ayoola, a designer, and built

Cholerafacts does the same thing every guide does: provide valuable information. The microsite includes everything you need to know about the disease — how to prevent it, how to recognise the symptoms, and what to do if you have it — and is optimised for anyone to sift through its content in less than five minutes. 

Additionally, as this is an ongoing public health issue, Cholerafacts has been built with a feature that tracks suspected cases and recorded death tolls using data from the NCDC. A list of contact numbers also leads you to the proper health agencies you need. 

And if you’re wondering where to get a vaccine (yes, there is one), the links to Famasi, a pharmacy infrastructure platform that connects you to pharmacies across Nigeria.

Hassan hopes the microsite will help people take action, and that every time they interact with it, they have a “better knowledge of how to prevent, care for, or identify the signs of cholera.”



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