By Asmau Ahmad with agency report
The Nigeria’s Federal Government has expressed concern that about 14 states in the country are at risk of spread of Diphtheria diseases.
The Federal Ministry of Health, said that there is currently active diphtheria outbreak in 25 local government areas of Bauchi, Kaduna, Katsina and Yobe states.
The ministry added that as part of the emergency response, it is working in collaboration with the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the 36 state governments and other development partners to mobilise resources to effectively check the outbreak in four states of the country.
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, Mr Olufunsho Adebiyi, in a statement said a comprehensive response plan has been activated to ensure early detection, containment of cases, as well as preventing further transmission through a multi-phased response strategy.
“Available real-time surveillance data is currently showing active diphtheria outbreaks in 25 LGAs in Bauchi, Kaduna, Katsina and Yobe states. Furthermore, it stated that 171 LGAs in 14 other states were at high risk of further spread of the diphtheria outbreak.
“The 171 LGAs include all the 44 in Kano, Katsina, FCT, Abuja, Yobe, Kaduna and Bauchi states, as well as the 20 contiguous LGAs in six neighbouring states of Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Plateau and Zamfara. Also affected are seven LGAs in Lagos and Osun states,” he said.
Mr Adebiyi explained that the partnership with the stakeholders was aimed at achieving an intensified mass vaccination of the identified populations at risk to curb the ongoing outbreak.
The permanent secretary stated that vaccination was being rolled out in two phases.
He said, “The immediate phase one response five-day reactive catch-up campaign is planned for the affected 25 LGAs in four states from August 7 and will target children less than 14 years of age.
“Children 6 weeks – 4 years would be administered pentavalent vaccine, while children more than 4 –14 years would be administered Td vaccines during the campaign.”
He also stated 171 LGAs in 14 States were being prioritised for full three rounds of catch-up campaign using Pentavalent vaccines (for children less than four years) and Td vaccines (for children 4 – 14 years).
Adebiyi added that the 14 states for the phase two response are; “Bauchi, Borno, FCT, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Lagos, Nasarawa, Osun, Plateau, Yobe and Zamfara states.
“The three rounds of the phase two response catch-up campaigns are tentatively scheduled for August 21, (1st Round), September 18 (2nd Round) and October 16 (3rd Round) respectively.”
He further said pentavalent vaccine would be given to children at age six weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks, to prevent the diphtheria.