By Khadija Aliyu
The united nations childrens fund (UNICEF), says Kano has recorded 5,800 cumulative cases of diphtheria, from January 2023 to date.
The chief of UNICEF field office Kano, Mr. Raham Rihood Mohammed Farah, made the disclosure in Kano, during a one day media orientation on Diphtheria outbreak, held in Kano.
According to him, last week, over 400 suspected cases and 11 deaths were reported in Kano state, where eight local government areas are the most affected, which includes Ungogo, Dala, Fagge, Gwale, Kumbotso, Nassarawa, Kano Municipal and Tarauni .
He pointed out that, recently there have been a surge in the number of Diphtheria cases, saying that,Nigeria is currently facing an outbreak of Diphtheria that need to be stopped and prevented.
Mr. Rahma maintained that, UNICEF supported Case management,Coordination of responsee surveillance and tracing process, risk communication and community engagement, Infection
prevention and control activities among others.
“We supported the training of 1,300 personnel of the IPC committees in over
132 facilities across the 44 LGAs including the Printing and distribution of IPC
Guidelines, engagement of 150 traditional leaders on Diphtheria outbreak and distribution of Diphtheria IEC materials to them”
In his remarks, the director general Kano state primary healthcare management board, Dr. Muhammad Nasir highlighted that, the state has taken drastic measures aimed at curtailing the spread of the disease, by reconstituting the response team, emergency center, media sensitization, contact tracing, strengthening routine immunization, vaccination among others.
He described the media as partners in the fight against diphtheria, and urged them to support government in fighting the scourge.
” A fully immunized child would not have diphtheria, we are committed to educating the public about what is happening and the national center for disease control had promised that Kano would be accorded priority in terms of vaccine distribution”
The chief communication, advocacy and partnerships, UNICEF Nigeria, Rajat Madhok, charged the media to report accurate and timely information, about the importance of diphtheria vaccine, to achieve the desired objectives.
In his presentation titled: Diptheria outbreak- How can we ethically engage with affected communities and remain accountable to them? SBC specialist Dr. Ogu Enemaku identified information sharing and communication, feedback and complaints and evidence based advocacy as key elements of accountability to affected persons.
Some of the participants who spoke to Radio Nigeria, Bashir Bello from vanguard newspaper, Rahmatu Garba from NAN and Aisha Ahmed from Aminci radio described the orientstion as apt, and called for sustainability.