In a concerning development, the National Primary Health Care Department Agency (NPHCDA) has revealed that Kaduna State has witnessed a significant rise in diphtheria cases, with 20 fatalities and 156 reported instances of the disease. Dr. Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the NPHCDA, who also serves as the Co-Chairman of the Federal Task Team on Diphtheria, addressed the media following his visit to the Kaduna Diphtheria Treatment Centre. During his visit, he assessed the situation of the diphtheria outbreak that has affected various parts of the state.
Dr. Shuaib expressed his concern about Kaduna State’s ranking among the seven states with the highest number of diphtheria cases. Shedding light on the current scenario, he stated, “We are at the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital, where mild to moderate cases are being attended to before being admitted to the infectious disease hospitals.”
The diphtheria outbreak in Kaduna was first detected in March, and since then, there have been 150 confirmed cases and approximately 20 fatalities. Dr. Shuaib acknowledged the elevated number of cases for diphtheria, but also emphasized that many patients seek medical attention at a late stage. He further called upon the media to play an active role in raising awareness and disseminating vital information about the existence of this preventable disease.
“It is disheartening to note that approximately 80 percent of those affected by the disease had not presented themselves for vaccination,” added Dr. Shuaib, underscoring the importance of preventive measures.
By providing these details on the diphtheria outbreak in Kaduna State, the NPHCDA aims to raise public awareness and foster a sense of urgency regarding the need for vaccination and early medical intervention.