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WHO strengthens efforts to combat diphtheria in Kano

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The fight against the diphtheria outbreak in Kano State has received a boost with the donation of some items by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to support the state in its fight against the dreaded disease.

The items include consignment which consists of 467 cartons of personal protective equipment (PPEs), apron protection, bag biohazard, examination glove (M, L, XL), surgical glove (6.5, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5), disposable inoculating loop, oropharyngeal swap, glycerol, Columbia agar bale, among others.

The State’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Abubakar Labaran Yusuf while receiving the items at the Kano Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), described the intervention as timely.

In a statement by the Ministry’s Information Officer, Ibrahim Abdullahi, the Commissioner commended the effort of WHO for supporting the government with a large consignment of items, aimed at preventing and controlling diphtheria in Kano.

The statement reads, “The fact that the donation has come at a right time as the state has this Saturday launched a new response, adding that the state has already gotten over a million doses of diphtheria-tetanus vaccine (TD) which is going to be administered in three cycles covering 22 LGs in October, November and December respectively.

“Arrival of these items at this material time is very timely. I want to sincerely appreciate the WHO, particularly Mr. Walter Kazadi Mulumbo, the organization’s representative in Nigeria.

“Apart from diphtheria, the organization is supporting Kano on other things that are happening in the state. We really appreciate WHO for giving us all the necessary cooperation and support”, Dr Labaran said.

The Commissioner then appealed to people to observe all the preventive measures of containing the diphtheria, pointing out that there is a need for early detection of the disease so as to prevent and frustrate its spread.

“Once a person is confirmed positive for diphtheria, all his/her family members and any contact with such person must also be treated. If that is done, the spread, optimistically, would be curtailed. I want to assure the people of the state that with our response, 22 LGAs will be covered.

“Eight metropolitan LGAs have been covered in the phase of the exercise, while the remaining 14, which are high-burden LGAs of diphtheria cases, will be covered in the second phase starting today (Saturday).

“I am therefore appealing to all eligible people to avail themselves and their children to the designated sites for the immunization”, he added.

The Commissioner with pleasure stated that from the data they are getting, there is significant success in the fight against diphtheria in the state, adding that based on the report and available data it shows that many states of the country have overtaken Kano in diphtheria cases.

He noted that this has indicated the state is controlling the situation, attributing the success to the concerted efforts of the administration of Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, partners and other stakeholders and hoped that with the measures put in place, the whole situation will by the grace of Allah be under control.

Earlier speaking, the WHO Zonal Coordinator, Northwest, Kano, Dr Haruna Adamu, said that they donated the items in order to complement the efforts of the Kano state government in strengthening diphtheria infection prevention and control measures in all affected communities as well as the health facilities.

He appreciated the leadership of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf and the Ministry of Health as well as other government agencies in responding to the ongoing outbreak of diphtheria in Kano State.

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