Health

Nigeria: Diphtheria Claims Lives of 122 Children in 7 Months – Unicef


Diphtheria has claimed the lives of 122 children in Nigeria as at July 2023, UNICEF’s Communications Officer in Nigeria, Ms Safiya Akau, stated on Thursday.

She stated that UNICEF was amplifying its efforts to counter the growing outbreak of diphtheria that has affected children in 27 states of Nigeria.

Diphtheria is a serious infection caused by strains of bacteria called Corynebacterium diphtheriae that make toxin. It can lead to difficulty in breathing, heart rhythm problems, and death.

It usually affects the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. Diphtheria is extremely rare.

Akau stated that 3,850 suspected cases of diphtheria were reported as of July and that 1,387 of the cases were confirmed.

She listed states affected as Kano, Yobe, Katsina, Lagos, Sokoto, Zamfara and the FCT which accounted for 98 per cent of the suspected cases.

She noted that 71.5 per cent of confirmed cases were found in children between the ages of two years and 14 years.

“It is heart-breaking to note that only 22 per cent of the confirmed cases received their routine childhood immunisation vaccinations,” Akau quoted Ms Cristian Munduate, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria as saying. (NAN)



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