Katsina Vaccinates 400,000 Children against Diphtheria in Nine LGAs

Francis Sardauna in Katsina 

The Katsina State Government has vaccinated over 400,000 children against diphtheria in nine out of the 34 Local Government Areas of the state that are the worst affected by the outbreak.

The Executive Secretary of the State Primary Healthcare Agency (SPHCA), Dr. Shamsudeen Yahaya, who disclosed this in a chat with THISDAY, said the state recorded 655 suspected cases of the virus with some deaths.

He said the vaccination campaign, which targeted children between six weeks to 14 years, was conducted in the nine local governments of Katsina, Charanchi, Dutsinma, Ingawa, Kaita, Kusada, Mai’Adua, Musawa and Zango.

Yahaya explained that Governor Dikko Umaru Radda, has approved the procurement and distribution of drugs and other commodities worth millions of naira to prevent and control the outbreak.

He said: “The SPHCA has conducted vaccination in 9 LGAs that are worse affected and is planning to conduct another outbreak response vaccination in the next few days. We have about 655 suspected cases with some deaths recorded. 

“Our Emergency Operation Centre in SPHCA is coordinating the response and meets daily to review the situation and reports to the Hon Commissioner, state ministry of health who chairs the Emergency Preparedness and response committee. 

“We are supporting the Federal Teaching Hospital Katsina with diphtheria antitoxin (a very scarce drug for treatment) and we planned to open another treatment centre in Funtua and Daura.”

He said the state government had also supported the training of primary healthcare workers on management of diphtheria, active case search and contact tracing, sensitisation and awareness creation on the contagious disease.

With support from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Yahaya said the state government had also perfected plans to optimise its laboratory to make preliminary diagnosis instead of taking samples to Abuja for confirmation.

He said the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) and other development partners were providing technical and logistics support to tame the outbreak in the state.

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