Unimmunized children worse hit
From Mika’il Tsoho
No fewer than 520 people were said to have died as a result of Diphtheria outbreak in Kano state this year.
The Director General of the Kano State Primary Healthcare Management Board, Dr. Muhammed Nasir Mahmoud dropped the hint while fielding questions from journalists at a one day media orientation on Diphtheria outbreak, supported by UNICEF in Kano.
“There is data we generated through our digit surveillance and reporting system. This year, Kano reported about 8,700 suspected cases of diphtheria and 6,300 confirmed, withe about 520 children suspected to have died of this ilness.
“We tracked this on daily and weekly basis, we believe the cases are much more than what we are getting, as we witness the increase of the cases from July”, he said.
The DG added that the cases were reported from 39 local governments out of 44 local governments.
The DG who described diphtheria as a threat to child survival, health and the well-being of children; said, UNICEF is collaborating with government and partners to respond to the emergency to save lives of children affected.
According to him, this week, UNICEF delivered 1.2 million vaccines to the Kano State government.
While making his remarks, Chief of UNICEF Field Office, Kano, Mr Rahama R. Mohammed Farah, said, about 60.8 percent of total suspected cases of diphtheria diseases are from unimmunized children.
Mr Farah who emphasized on the importance of routine immunization as well as danger related to the issue of zero dose, said majority of suspected victims of diphtheria are children that did not receive a single dose of vaccination against the children killer diseases including diphtheria.
“So far, the highest number of cases of diphtheria are reported from Kano state, for example, out of the 44 LGAs of Kano state, the Diphtheria disease has spread to 39 LGAs.
“Since Jan 2023, Kano state reported over 5,800 cumulative cases of diphtheria in the state, although, there was a decline in reported cases in June.
“However, as of July, diphtheria cases have been on the rise. As of last week, over 400 suspected cases with 11 deaths have been reported in Kano state”, he said.
According to him, eight LGAs are the most affected: They are Ungogo (2651), Dala (989), Fagge (943), Gwale (714), Kumbotso (713), Nassarawa (538), Kano Municipal (506) and Tarauni (269).