The Nigerian Center for Diseases Control (NCDCD) has said that it has intensified vaccination of people in the communities affected by the diphtheria outbreak and other parts of Kano state where the index case started.
This is coming as the outbreak of the deadly disease has cut across 16 local government areas of the state with at least 506 suspected cases recorded.
Addressing newsmen in Kano shortly after a meeting with the state health team, the Director General of the NCDCD Dr. Ifedayo Adefita said adequate measures are in place to contain the epidemic and that they have delivered to Kano state, 300 out of 1000 valves of vaccines received in the country on Sunday.
He said while they await more 1000 valves of the vaccine, they have shifted attention to vaccinating people within the age range that are vulnerable to be infected by the disease.
“We are also working to diversify the source of supply because the manufacturers have 2,500 valves as their monthly maximum capacity, meant to manage clinical cases only. We need to prevent cases from occurring now by vaccinating the community.
“So there are supposed to be complementary approaches to vaccinating and protecting communities because it may take 10 days after vaccination before people have full benefits. In that main time then you look after the cases that arise. Is not just about vaccination, we also need to sort out immunization to protect the risk years, which is so far between 2 to 14 years old,” he said.
Earlier in his presentation about the update of the outbreak, the state epidemiologist, Dr. Abdullahi Kauranmata said out of the 506 suspected cases 11 are laboratory confirmed while 214 are clinically compatible cases.
“Out of these suspected cases we have recorded 6 deaths from the confirmed cases while 98 were discarded. We also recorded 167 pending classification cases while 16 were unknown.”