About 25 persons have been killed by diphtheria infection outbreak in Kano as of last Friday.
SOLACEBASE gathered that the child killer disease which was first noticed in Kano late last year is being treated as an outbreak presently at Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, AKTH, in Kano.
Medical experts said diphtheria infection is a serious infection of the nose and throat that is easily preventable by vaccine.
The newspaper discovered that the disease which is contagious was first noticed from Ungogo local government area of Kano.
According to records of Kano State Ministry of Health on the outbreak, 58 suspected cases of the disease was documented, 6 were on admission and 25 patients died of diphtheria infection as at January 13th, 2023.
A very reliable source informed this newspaper that with the enormity of the outbreak, the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC last week , immediately deployed personnel to Kano to set up incident command structure to conduct outbreak investigation for diphtheria, offer technical support and to reactivate operation centre for treatment.
‘’ As we speak now, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) popularly known as Doctors without borders, have established case management centre at Murtala Muhammed Hospital and have being providing essential drugs.
A medical consultant who wants to remain anonymous attributed the outbreak of the disease to failure of routine immunization in Kano.
The expert said there is low coverage of immunization exercise in Kano, which is a major means of preventing the outbreak of the disease, coupled with low awareness of the populace.
‘’You see if the management of this diseases has been conducted by making the residents aware of the situation, it would have drastically reduce the spread in the community among children,’’ the medical expert said.
‘’Presently there is a case of Lassa Fever, from Dala LGA just last week . The state is not doing enough to sensitize the people so that the spread of the disease can be curtailed.’’
Confirming the development to newsmen on Thursday, Kano State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa said the state emergency preparedness committee is even meeting this morning to evaluate the casualty figures, review the data and measures to address the situation.
Tsanyawa said presently, the state rapid response team has been reactivated and index action plan to check the spread of diphtheria is in place.
‘’Right now we have presented a budget for this to the government and it has been approved,’’ the commissioner said.
He said the low routine immunization attributed to the spread of the disease is due to the hard to be reached areas in the state.
He noted that, however, the state is strengthening its routine immunization.
Tsanyawa said apart from the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital designated as an isolation centre, other isolation centres would be created to check the spread.
‘’Although we used Yargaya for COVID-19 isolation, we have set the place aside for the isolation of diphtheria infection also.’’
‘’We also have 3 cases of LASSA Fever in the state now with the index case from Taraba.’’
‘’ The people should not panic but if they notice any unusual fever, should immediately visit hospital.’’
‘’We are already embarking on sensitization to educate the populace on the disease.’’