Nigeria has recorded 7,202 confirmed cases of diphtheria and 453 deaths in 105 Local Government Areas across 18 states in the country and the the Federal Capital Territory.

This was revealed at a joint press statement by the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency with development partners.

The Agencies in the statement, says as of September 24th, 2023, there have been 11,587 reported suspected cases of Diptheria, noting that the gap in vaccination coverage is responsible for the outbreak

According to the statement, Most of the confirmed cases were recorded in
Kano(6,185), while other States with cases are Yobe (640), Katsina (213), Borno (95), Kaduna (16), Jigawa
(14), Bauchi (8), Lagos (8), FCT (5), Gombe (5), Osun (3), Sokoto (3), and Niger (2),

Cross River,
Enugu, Imo, Nasarawa and Zamfara, has 1 case each.

It explained that majority of the cases, ( 5,299), which represents (73. 6%) of the confirmed
cases occurred among children aged 1–14 years with those aged 5-14 years bearing most of the brunt of the disease.

The three agencies therefore advised Nigerians to reduce the risk of diphtheria by observing the following advice. Including ensuring that children are fully vaccinated against diphtheria, while Health workers should be at alert.

“””” Parents should ensure that their children are fully vaccinated against diphtheria with the 3
doses of diphtheria antitoxin-containing pentavalent vaccine given as part of Nigeria’s
childhood immunisation schedule.

Healthcare workers should maintain a high index of suspicion for diphtheria and practice
standard infection prevention and control precautions while handling all patients in their

All healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, laboratory scientists, support staff etc.) with a high
level of exposure to cases of diphtheria should be vaccinated against diphtheria.

Individuals with signs and symptoms suggestive of diphtheria should promptly present to
a healthcare facility or designated diphtheria treatment centres and where possible they
and/or healthcare workers should notify their LGA, State Disease Surveillance Officer
(DSNO), their State Ministry of Health helpline, or the NCDC through our toll-free line on

Close contact with a confirmed case of diphtheria should be closely monitored and
managed according to guidelines””””

The joint statement warned that the most effective protection against diphtheria is vaccination with the Pentavalent or TD vaccine.

“””The Federal Government of Nigeria provides free, safe, and effective vaccines at all Primary
Healthcare Centres nationwide.

We invite the public to take advantage of the ongoing vaccination
occurring in all states.

Parents are kindly advised to take their children aged 0 – 14 years to the
nearest Government health facility to get vaccinated in accordance with the routine immunisation
schedule and ongoing reactive vaccination campaign in the affected Local Government Areas
(LGAs) as applicable””””

The Federal Government of Nigeria provides free, safe, and effective vaccines at all Primary
Healthcare Centres

Members of the public are also advised to avoid rumour-mongering but to share only verified information
from FMOH&SW, NCDC, NPHCDA, SMOH, WHO, UNICEF and other verified source.


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