Nigeria Governtment update on diphtheria shows 13, 204 reported cases out of which 8, 406 were confirmed from 114 local Government in 19 states including the FCT.
At a joint press briefing in Abuja btw the National primary healthcare development Agency NPHCDA, the Nigeria Center for disease Control, NCDC and other partners.
During the inaugural press briefing since the setting up of the National emergency task team for coordination of the National Response on Diptheria outbreak in Nigeria the State bearing the brunt of all diphtheria cases is Kano, with the highest burden of 7,188, representing (86 per cent) of all the cases.
Apart from kano, Yobe has 775 diphtheria cases, Katsina -232; Borno – 118; Jigawa- 23; Bauchi-20; Kaduna-17, Lagos- 8; and FCT-6.
Other states are Gombe, 5; Osun, 3; Sokoto, 3; Niger, 2; while Cross River, Enugu, Imo, Nasarawa, Zamfara, and Kebbi, are reporting 1 case each state.
In his address, the Executive director of the National Primary Healthcare development Agency, Dr faisal Shuab said the only potent weapon against Diphtheria was vaccination campaign which is already yielding result especially in most of the affected states.
While giving update on vaccination across the states in recent months, Dr Shuab Emphasized the need for Nigerians to take advantage of the free routine vaccination against Dephtheria which continues daily at all government facilities across the nation.
Dr Faisal said the focus of the Federal government is not only limited to Diphtheria control but extends to strengthening the healthcare systems to respond effectively to other health emegergencies.
Dr. Faisal called on popple to reduce air contact with the bacteria by adopting non pharmaceutical intervention such as the use of facemasks, hand washing and physical distancing from affected persons. However, this should be done in a way that does not stigmatize nor discriminate against sick people.
The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, National primary healthcare development Agency
further called on Governors of affected states to institute face covering requirements such as facemasks in public gatherings. Other to slow the progress of the outbreak.
On his part , the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), Dr Ifedayo Adetifa said “Of the 8,406 confirmed cases, 6,202, representing 73.7 percent, were aged 1-14 years, while Adults above 20 years represents 15 percent of all the cases.
He explained that records show that most of the confirmed cases of Diphtheria in the country were unvaccinated against Diphtheria.
For the World health organization WHO’s Deputy Country Representative, Alexander Chimbaru, said the contributions of traditional, religious and community leaders would boost the vaccination drive.
Both UNICEF and US CDC applauded the excellent coordination of the Diphtheria response by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Nigeria Government is emphasising that Diphtheria is a highly infectious disease and the vaccines being deployed are potent, safe and effective.