Diphtheria: NCDC Confirm 38 Deaths, Recorded 123 Cases

Diphtheria: NCDC Confirm 38 Deaths, Recorded 123 Cases

By Blessing Otobong-Gabriel

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, NCDC, has on Monday said diphtheria deaths has risen to 38 and recorded 123 cases.

The agency said Kano State recorded 32 deaths; Yobe, 17 cases and three deaths, Lagos; five cases and three deaths, and Osun, one, with no death.

It said it expects more cases due to the sub-optimal vaccination coverage.

The Director General, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, spoke at a briefing organised by Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja encourage parents to ensure their children are vaccinated with three doses of pentavalent vaccine.

Adetifa, represented by Dr. Priscilla Ibekwe, director of Special Duties and Partnership, stressed that individuals with signs and symptoms should isolate themselves and notify LGA, DSNO or NCDC through (6232).

He said: “Late last year, we got to know about diphtheria and a response team was deployed. In terms of numbers, as at January 22, we have 123 confirmed cases, unfortunately, 38 deaths. One hundred from Kano, with 32 deaths. Lagos, five with three deaths; Yobe, 17, three deaths, and one from Osun with no death.

“In addition to clinically suspected cases, there have been laboratory-confirmed cases and NCDC is working with ministries of Health and partners, this includes keeping the public informed on staying safe, given the sub-optimal coverage for the third dose of diphtheria containing pentavalent vaccine (54 per cent – 2021 MICS & NICS), we expect more cases from more states.”

Speaking, Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said, “Diphtheria is a vaccine preventable disease. Anybody who gets diphtheria didn’t get vaccination. That is why we are driving vaccination. If we had a bigger coverage of vaccinated people, we would not have these figures.”

Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, noted that the agency is providing support to Kano and Lagos State for an integrated COVID-19 and routine immunisation vaccination to address the outbreak’’.


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DiphtheriaIfedayo AdetifaNCDC

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