Kano State Map

Diphtheria kills 61 people in Kano State

No fewer than 61 persons are said to have died from the outbreak of diphtheria in Kano state.

This was declared on Monday by Dr. Salma Suwaid, Kano diphtheria case manager.

Speaking at webinar organised by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with the theme ‘Diptheria outbreak in Nigeria: Vaccination Response’ Suwaid said a total number of 783 persons – 360 male and 423 female – patients have been admitted to hospital so far in Kano.

He added that the average hospital stay of the patients is four days.

“Eighty-three percent of deaths occurred in patients with the onset of symptoms greater than three days and an average of 15 admission days,” she said.

“Sixty-eight percent of patients have been discharged, 1.66 percent absconded, and 12.2 percent died.”

“We need to act fast and effectively to stop this outbreak from claiming more lives. Vaccination is our best defence against diphtheria, and we must ensure that everyone is vaccinated particularly children,” he stated

“The outbreak is largely due to low vaccination rates in the affected communities. Many people have not received the necessary vaccinations, leaving them vulnerable to infection.”

In her own remarks, Adejoke Oladele, the representative of the director, disease control and immunisation, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), said the agency is working closely with the NCDC and partners to ensure a rapid increase in diphtheria vaccination coverage

“Apart from clinical and immunisation interventions, risk communication engagement activities are also carried out in affected communities. We are leveraging on structures implemented for COVID to ensure effective response,” she said.

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection caused by the corynebacterium species that affect the nose, throat, and sometimes, skin of an individual.

Some of its symptoms include fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, red eyes, neck swelling, and difficulty in breathing.


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