130 people were hospitalised with diphtheria in Kaduna; states start immunising

Jul 28, 2023 | Health | 0 comments

Once diphtheria cases reached 130, the Kano State Government opened three treatment centres.

On Thursday, Dr Abubakar Yusuf, the state commissioner for health, claimed the state had taken the required steps to stop the sickness.

As the matter escalated, over 130 people were hospitalized last Monday.

Yusuf noted that Kano should not be fighting such an epidemic since the previous government failed to immunize the population.

“Governor Abba Yusuf has since urged the government to swing into action to curb the terrible sickness,” he added. Three treatment centres are available.

“Anyone experiencing any of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s symptoms should seek medical attention.”

On Thursday, Kwara State’s Healthcare Development Agency Executive Secretary, Dr. Nusirat Elelu, said that 388 health institutions in the state would immunize children and newborns against diphtheria and other childhood illnesses, including poliomyelitis.

“We have expanded our vaccination to 388 facilities encompassing the 194 wards in the 16 local government areas of Kwara State,” she told The PUNCH about attendance.

We immunize against diphtheria, poliomyelitis, and other childhood illnesses.

Dr Bile Nuhu, Gombe State Epidemiologist, told The PUNCH that the state was implementing aggressive diphtheria measures despite not having a case since the epidemic in areas of the nation.

“Diphtheria is vaccine-preventable,” Nuhu stated. Vaccines for children under nine months include it. That protects kids. Diphtheria affects two-to-14-year-olds. Only infants are vaccinated. The federal NCDC and NPHCDA are trying to extend it to encompass the others.

Our reporter in Abuja reported poor diphtheria vaccine turnout in the Federal Capital Territory on Thursday, three weeks after it declared the epidemic and kid immunization.

Dr Sadiq Abdulrahman, FCT Director, Public Health Department, reported the outbreak on July 3 after a four-year-old died in Abuja.

The NDDC responded nationally to January outbreaks in Lagos, Ondo, and Kano.

Our reporter saw a few parents getting their children vaccinated at FCT hospitals.

Our reporter saw just five parents with children under seven receiving the immunization at Garki District Hospital.

Dr John, the vaccination unit’s doctor-in-charge, said the numbers were low since it wasn’t their immunization day, generally Fridays.

Mrs. Tsevende Jennifer, the officer-in-charge at Wuse District Hospital in Zone 4, told our reporter, “We have a decline in attendance because of this gasoline subsidy. We vaccinate 15–25 youngsters daily, Mondays through Fridays.

Dr. Omolola Adeagbo, the Osun State Epidemiologist, told one of our journalists that nursing women were flocking to acquire newborn immunization.

Diphtheria awareness raised attendance, Adeagbo said.

Prof. Adekunle Olowe, Group Leader, Bacteriology Unit, Institute for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Disease, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ladoke Akintola, University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, has urged governments at all levels to increase diphtheria awareness to stop its spread.

In an interview with The Punch in Osogbo, Olowe advocated for an active awareness campaign to familiarize people with diphtheria symptoms, particularly in rural areas.

Illiterate residents are unaware of this illness. The government should raise awareness, particularly in rural regions. Osun has had two cases—one died, and one recovered. The don stated that certain states had more instances.

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