The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says six states account for a staggering 97 per cent of all reported diphtheria cases in the country.
The states, according to the agency’s Director General, Dr Faisal Shuaib, who spoke on Tuesday at the Diphtheria Outbreak Response Press Conference in Abuja are Kano, Yobe, Katsina, Borno, Kaduna, and Bauchi.
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The Director General said that the six states were bearing the brunt of the disease in the country, stressing that Kano alone carries the weight of over 84% of the cases, making it the epicenter of the outbreak.
He stated that the disease has cast a dark shadow over communities, particularly impacting children who are the most vulnerable citizens, saying that in recent months, the agency has launched rapid and comprehensive vaccination campaigns across the affected regions.
According to him, “These campaigns have been meticulously planned and executed, with a larger focus on the epicenter of the outbreak.”
Kano, he explained, had been at the forefront of the vaccination efforts, working with the state governments and implementing rounds 1 and 2 of the vaccination campaign in five high-burden local government areas in February and April 2023 respectively.
Subsequently, the Director General observed that the round 3 was integrated with routine immunization intensification, to further bolster response, saying that an additional 8 LGAs in Kano underwent reactive vaccination exercises in the last week of August.