According to the Ministry of Health, the outbreak of diphtheria is highly likely to expand to 171 local government districts in 14 states across the nation.
Olufunsho Adebiyi, the ministry’s permanent secretary, outlined that the 144 local government areas in the states of Kano, Katsina, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Yobe, Kaduna, and Bauchi were all included in the 171 LGAs.
Other states include Lagos and Osun states, seven local government areas, Gombe, Jigawa, Borno, Nasarawa, Plateau, and Zamfara, all of which have 20 infectious local government areas.
He stated: “Available real-time surveillance data showed active diphtheria outbreaks in 25 LGAs in Bauchi, Katsina, Yobe, and Kaduna states.”
He stated that the ministry was mobilizing all the resources required to properly address the outbreak in coordination with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), states, and partners.
A thorough reaction strategy, according to him, has been launched to guarantee early case discovery and containment as well as the prevention of future transmission through a multi-phased response approach.
He said that the alliance planned to intensify mass vaccination of the groups identified as being at risk in order to stop the ongoing diphtheria outbreak in two phases. He claimed that diphtheria affects individuals of all ages, especially children who are not immune to the disease.
The indications and symptoms of this illness include a fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, neck swelling, and breathing difficulties.
He emphasized that if left untreated, the symptoms and signs could potentially result in death, and that children who are partially or never vaccinated had a higher risk of dying.