The Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Ifedayo Adetifa, has said about 15,060 suspected cases of diphtheria infections were recorded in the country as of October 19, 2023.
According to him, out of the suspected cases, 9,478 were confirmed from 137 local government areas across 20 states including the Federal Capital Territory.
He disclosed this while speaking at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
Adetifa said 71.5 per cent of the confirmed cases were between the ages of one and 14 years, with infants accounting for less than one per cent of the cases.
Mr Adetifa said data also shows that Kano, the epicentre of the infection, has the highest number of cases at 7,747, followed by Yobe with 841 cases.
“Bauchi State recorded 369 infections, followed by Katsina – 275, Borno – 164, Jigawa – 24, Kaduna – 18, Lagos – eight, Zamfara – seven, FCT – seven, Gombe – five, Sokoto – four, Osun – three, and Niger State recorded two diphtheria cases.
“Cross River, Enugu, Imo, Nasarawa, Kebbi, and Taraba states recorded one case of diphtheria infection each,”Adetifa added.
Speaking at the briefing, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, said a total of 1,692,762 children, between six months and four years of age, had been diligently administered the Pentavalent vaccine—a vital safeguard against this disease.
Shuaib said in addition, an impressive 3,166,419 children aged four to 14 years had received the TD vaccines, further strengthening the country from the disease among children and teenagers.
“The phase two round one of our outbreak response using diphtheria vaccines commenced on 23 September and has unfolded in seven states, encompassing 56 LGAs that are profoundly impacted by the ongoing outbreak. The reach and impact of this concerted effort have been nothing short of remarkable,” he said.
Shuaib said Kano State had exemplified its commitment to this cause, ensuring the immunisation of 1,111,310 children with TD vaccines and 544,737 children with Pentavalent vaccines in phase two.
He said Katsina, another hotspot in this outbreak, had vaccinated 403,252 children with TD vaccines and 255,075 children with Pentavalent vaccines.
“Similarly, Kaduna, Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, and Yobe have not faltered in their efforts either, collectively securing the health and well-being of hundreds of thousands of children through dedicated vaccination campaigns, ” he added.