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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Diptheria outbreak: 156 cases, 20 deaths recorded in Kaduna – NPHCDA

The Director CEO, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, has called for efforts by stakeholders to stem the spread of diptheria across Nigeria, noting that 156 cases has been recorded in Kaduna state with 20 deaths. 

Speaking when he led the National Task Team on Diptheria Outbreak Response Team to Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital Kaduna on Wednesday, Dr. Shuaib said efforts are ongoing to create sensitisation and awareness about the disease, ensure early presentation of cases for quick treatment to minimise deaths, and contact tracing to enable all the people prone to the disease are treated and end the spread of the disease.  

“We are here at Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital to assess the diphtheria outbreak that brought out Kaduna as the leader among the 6 to 7 states with largest number of cases. We are very proud of the work ongoing here under the leadership of the chief medical director, the doctors, nurses, executive secretary of primary healthcare board have all done a lot within a short while.

“Since March when the outbreak was first detected in Kaduna state, the state has recorded 156 cases with about 20 deaths, which is high for diphtheria, but we recognised that some of the patients were presented lately and this is why it is very important for the media to raise awareness on the disease. We realised that there is need for media to step up and patients needed to be brought early to take their treatment. 

“Diphtheria is a preventable disease but over 80% of those that are affected by the disease did not get the diptheria vaccine, which is why they fell victim to the disease. Those people in areas with highest vaccine coverage have lower cases of diptheria disease. So, we encourage that people should take vaccination to protect them from diseases like this. To stop the spread of the disease, this is an airborne disease, we should use face mask and follow cough etiquette by coughing into our elbow. 

“Though we are beginning to get a handle on the outbreak, it is still early for us to say the disease is under control. There are communities where we have to improve on case findings and contact tracing. We are not out of the loop yet but we are working hard to close the loop. We see stakeholders stepped up their efforts to step up the vaccination. We want to thank President Bola Tinubu for his support. President Tinubu tasked the task team that whatever was needed to bring down the disease, they should reach out to him to get it done,” the NPHCDA boss said.  

Also speaking, Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital, Dr. Shuaib Musa, said Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital, being the only state owned tertiary institution in the state, is where most diptheria patients are brought for immediate treatment and if necessary, placing them on admission for further treatment, adding that there were six victims on admission at BDTH on Tuesday but four of them have been discharged so only two children are on admission at the hospital. 

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