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80 percent of Diphtheria deaths attributed to lack of Vaccine – NPHCDA



The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib says over 80 percent of children who contracted diphtheria never received routine childhood immunisations.

Dr. Shuaib spoke on Wednesday after inspecting the diphtheria treatment centre at the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Kano.

The NPHCDA boss urged parents to ensure that their children’s vaccinations are up to date.

He also appealed to caregivers to pay attention to personal and environmental hygiene and avoid crowded rooms.

“I implore every parent, caregiver to take proactive measures to protect their loved ones. Immunisation is the most effective safeguard against diphtheria,” he said.

He advised individuals at higher risk of contracting diphtheria to get vaccinated immediately.

He encouraged citizens to be patient, saying the country would rise above the challenges presented by the disease.

“We are using the crisis to strengthen the country’s health care system,” he said.

The executive director acknowledged that there are gaps in public knowledge about vaccinations, but assured that inoculations would not be mandatory, taking into account some public concerns.

“Diptheria has had significant impact on Nigeria, with more than 14,000 reported cases of the disease,” he said.

Dr. Shuaiib expressed satisfaction with the commitment of state governments toward improving the quality of healthcare.

He also clarified that diphtheria is not related to COVID-19, saying “diphtheria is caused by bacteria while COVID-19 is caused by virus.”

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection caused by the corynebacterium species that affect the nose, throat and sometimes, skin of an individual.

Some symptoms of diphtheria include fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, red eyes, neck swelling and difficulty in breathing.



Kano Focus


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