Home News Diphtheria: Yobe records 1,796 cases, 117 deaths

Diphtheria: Yobe records 1,796 cases, 117 deaths

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National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), has confirmed that 117 children have died following the Diphtheria outbreak in Yobe since 2022.

The agency, however, said that 1,600 children had recovered from the disease within the period under review.

NPHCDA executive director, Dr Faisal Shuaib stated this during an inspection visit to the Diphtheria isolation centre in Potiskum, the epicentre of the disease in the state.

He said that 1,796 cases of the disease had been reported in Yobe since 22 November, adding that the disease was more prevalent among children age five to 14 years.

Shuaib, who led the Diphtheria Emergency Task Team to the state, expressed satisfaction with the diphtheria vaccination conducted in Potiskum and 17 other local government areas of the state.

“By 12 October, more vulnerable kids will be provided with vaccines to curtail the disease. Vaccines are powerful, they are safe and they work.

“Diphtheria is a disease of ancient times; with vaccination, deaths are preventable”, he said.

He said low vaccination was responsible for the recent outbreak of the disease across the country.

“In 2016 and 2017; MICS NICS survey, an independent survey of National Bureau of Statistics, indicated that only 33 per cent of Nigerians were covered by vaccinations.

“Due to concerted efforts by the Federal Government and development partners, the figure rose to 70 per cent in 2019.

“But the outbreak of COVID-19 which prevented many people from taking their children for vaccination due to lockdown and fear of contracting COVID-19, there was a deep in coverage down to 57 per cent”, he said.

Shuaib said that improvement in environmental and personal hygiene would eliminate the disease in spite of Yobe being second only to Kano State in cases of diphtheria across the country.

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