Kano State diphtheria case manager, Salma Suwaid, on Monday, disclosed that 61 persons have died from diphtheria disease in Kano State.
Suwaid, who spoke at a webinar organised by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with the theme ‘Diphtheria outbreak in Nigeria: Vaccination Response’, said a total of 783 (360 male and 423 female) patients have been admitted so far in the State.
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.
Suwaid said diphtheria patients stay up to four days on the average in the hospital, adding that 83 per cent of deaths occurred in patients with the onset of symptoms greater than three days and an average of 15 admission days.
“68 percent of patients have been discharged, 1.66 percent absconded, and 12.2 percent died,” she explained.
Also speaking, the representative of the director, Disease Control and Immunisation, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Adejoke Oladele, said the Agency was working closely with the NCDC and partners to ensure a rapid increase in diphtheria vaccination coverage.
She said apart from clinical and immunisation interventions, risk communication engagement activities are also carried out in affected communities.
“We are leveraging on structures implemented for COVID to ensure effective response,” she added.