Health

Diphtheria Outbreak: WHO Supports KNSG On Diphtheria Response Activities

Written by Pyramid FM Kano

From: MUKHTAR YAHAYA SHEHU

On what is seen as timely support the fight against diphtheria by Kano state government, the World Health Organization (WHO) has donated items to support the state in its fight against the dreaded disease.

Receiving the items at the Kano Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), the Hon. Commissioner for Health, Dr. Abubakar Labaran Yusuf appreciated the effort of the WHO for supporting government with large consignment of items, aimed at preventing and controlling diphtheria in Kano.

In a statement signed by information officer state ministry for Health Ibrahim Abdullahi Dr. Labaran noted with satisfaction the fact that the donation has come at a right time as the state has this Saturday launched a new response, adding that the state has already gotten over a million doses of diphtheria tetanus vaccine (TD) which is going to be administered in three cycles covering 22 LGs in October, November and December respectively.

“Arrival of these items at this material time is very timely. I want to sincerely appreciate the WHO, particularly Mr. Walter Kazadi Mulumbo, the organizations representative in Nigeria.

“Apart from diphtheria, the organization is supporting Kano on other things that are happening in the state. We really appreciate WHO for giving us all the necessary cooperation and support”, said Dr. Labaran.

The Commissioner then appealed people to observe all the preventive measures of containing the diphtheria, pointing out that there is need for early detection of the disease so as to prevent and frustrate its spread.

He advised that if somebody is suspected of having the signs and symptoms of diphtheria, he has to quickly be isolated and shouldnt be allowed to mingle with other people and should hastily be taken to the hospital for confirmation, urging people to wear facemask while taking the affected person to isolation area and while going into crowd in order not to infect others if one knows he/she is a carrier.

“Once a person is confirmed positive of diphtheria, all his/her family members and any contact of such person must also be treated. If that is done, the spread, optimistically, would be curtailed. I want to assure people of the state that with our response, 22 LGAs will be covered.

“Eight metropolitan LGAs have been covered in the phase of the exercise, while the remaining 14, which are high burden LGAs of diphtheria cases, will be covered in the second phase starting on 30th September, 2023.

“I am therefore appealing to all eligible people to avail themselves and their children to the designated sites for the immunization”, he added.

The Commissioner with pleasure stated that from the data they are getting, there is significant success in the fight against diphtheria in the state, adding that based on the report and available data it shows that many states of the country have overtaken Kano in diphtheria cases.

He noted that this has indicated the state is controlling the situation, attributing the success to the concerted efforts of the administration of Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, partners and other stakeholders and hoped that with the measures put in place, the whole situation will by the grace of Allah be under control.

Earlier speaking, the World Health Organization Zonal Coordinator, Northwest, Kano, Dr. Haruna Adamu, said that they donated the items in order to complement efforts of Kano state government in strengthening diphtheria infection prevention and control measures in all affected communities as well as the health facilities.

He appreciated the leadership of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf and Ministry of Health as well as other government agencies in responding to the ongoing outbreak of diphtheria in Kano state.

Dr. Haruna said the consignment consists of 467 cartons of personal protective equipments (PPEs) and other laboratory items to support the diphtheria outbreak response and containment activities in Kano state.

The items include apron protection, bag bio hazard, examination glove (M, L, XL), surgical glove (6.5, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5), disposable inoculating loop, oropharngeal swap, glycerol, Columbia agar bale.

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