By Asmau Ahmad
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has deployed 9.3 million doses of diphtheria vaccine to affected states, including Kano, Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, Katsina, Kaduna and Jigawa.
UNICEF has raised alarm over the outbreak of Diphtheria in Nigeria and called for a widespread vaccination application nationwide.
UNICEF, in a statement, said it would provide support to the Nigerian government in its efforts to combat the outbreak.
According to the statement, the agency has already deployed about 9.3 million doses of diphtheria vaccine to several affected states in the north of the country.
It also indicated that 4 million doses have been dispatched to Kano, the epicentre of the outbreak.
“Another 4 million doses of vaccines are being procured and will be handed over to government in the coming weeks,” it stressed.
Similarly, the statement urged stakeholders and other players within the international community to ensure that every child in Nigeria gets vaccinated.
It stressed the importance of strengthening routine immunisation and community engagement to avoid similar outbreaks in the future.
To respond effectively to the outbreak, UNICEF Nigeria needs to raise an additional $3.3 million until the end of the year, the statement added.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), as at September 24, 7,2023 confirmed cases, originating from 105 local government areas across 18 states and the Federal Capital Territory, have been reported.
The outbreak has claimed about 453 lives among confirmed cases, resulting in a case fatality rate (CFR) of 6.3%.
A significant majority of the confirmed cases, according to the figures released by the centre totalling 5,299 (73.6%), are among children aged one to 14 years, with the most severely impacted age group being five to 14 years old.