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Jigawa records 91 suspected cases of diphtheria




Not less than 91 suspected cases of diphtheria have been recorded and 10 children feared dead in 14 Local Government Areas of Jigawa State.

The Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Health, Dr Salisu Muazu, said on Saturday that about two weeks ago, patients were received from 14 local government areas bordering other neighbouring states where the outbreak of the infection had earlier been established.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Muazu said the two confirmed samples were those from Kazaure and Jahun LGs, adding that the majority of the victims were those that either did not receive complete immunisation or received zero dose of childhood immunisation.

He urged parents and community leaders to support and cooperate with health workers as the government had concluded plans to conduct mop-up immunisation in affected local government areas, adding that residents should promptly report persons with symptoms of diphtheria to Disease Notification Officers in the local government areas or to the nearest health facility.

He added, “There has been a diphtheria outbreak in the northern part of Nigeria in the last four months. This is especially in neighbouring Kano, Yobe, Katsina and Bauchi states. About two weeks ago, we received patients that had symptoms of diphtheria in 14 local government areas bordering states that already established the infection.

“The National Reference Laboratory in Abuja confirmed two of the 91 suspected samples we sent to have tested positive to diphtheria. In fact, in the last 10 years, we have not had diphtheria in Jigawa, but in those neighbouring states that now have the epidemic. The reason why we have it now may be due to the Covid-19 period when healthcare services completely broke down.”

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