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Nigeria records over 15,000 suspected diphtheria cases

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has said that over 15,000 suspected cases of diphtheria infections have been recorded in the country as of October 19, 2023.

The NCDC Director General, Ifedayo Adetifa, disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday. 

He said that out of the suspected cases, 9,478 were confirmed from 137 local government areas across 20 states, including the Federal Capital Territory.

Adetifa said 71.5 per cent of the confirmed cases were between the ages of one and 14 years, with infants accounting for less than one per cent of the cases.

He said Kano, the epicentre of the infection, has the highest number of cases at 7,747, followed by Yobe with 841 cases.

Bauchi State recorded 369 infections, followed by Katsina – 275, Borno – 164, Jigawa – 24, Kaduna – 18, Lagos – eight, Zamfara – seven, FCT – seven, Gombe – five, Sokoto – four, Osun – three, and Niger State recorded two diphtheria cases.

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“Cross River, Enugu, Imo, Nasarawa, Kebbi, and Taraba states recorded one case of diphtheria infection each,”Adetifa said.

Also speaking at the briefing, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, said “Similarly, Kaduna, Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, and Yobe have not faltered in their efforts either, collectively securing the health and well-being of hundreds of thousands of children through dedicated vaccination campaigns,

Speaking further, Shuaib said that over 1.6 million children between six months and four years of age have been vaccinated with the Pentavalent vaccine, which protects against diphtheria.

The phase two round one of our outbreak response using diphtheria vaccines commenced on 23 September and has unfolded in seven states, encompassing 56 LGAs that are profoundly impacted by the ongoing outbreak. The reach and impact of this concerted effort have been nothing short of remarkable,” he said.

Other states affected by the outbreak include Bauchi, Katsina, Borno, Jigawa, Kaduna, Lagos, Zamfara, FCT, Gombe, Sokoto, Osun, Niger, Cross River, Enugu, Imo, Nasarawa, Kebbi, and Taraba.

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