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UNICEF Deploys 9.3 Million Diphtheria Vaccine Doses to Tackle Severe Outbreak in Nigeria

In response to the most severe diphtheria outbreak in recent global history, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has taken swift action by deploying 9.3 million doses of diphtheria vaccines to affected states in Nigeria. The move aims to address the critical situation and protect the country’s vulnerable population.

The announcement, conveyed by UNICEF’s Communication Assistant, Nchekwube Nwosu-Igbo, revealed that these vaccine doses have been dispatched to several states severely affected by the outbreak. Specifically, the vaccines have been sent to Kano, Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, Katsina, Kaduna, and Jigawa States, with a significant allocation of four million doses going to Kano, the epicenter of the outbreak.

Furthermore, the statement disclosed that an additional four million doses are in the procurement process and will soon be delivered to the government to reinforce the vaccination campaign.

The diphtheria outbreak has already had a devastating impact, with over 11,500 suspected cases and tragically claiming 453 lives. More than 7,000 cases have been confirmed, with the majority affecting children. Notably, most of these cases involve children aged between 4 to 15 years who have not received a single dose of the essential vaccine, underscoring the urgent need for a comprehensive vaccination initiative in Nigeria.

UNICEF is actively supporting the Nigerian government’s efforts to combat the outbreak, and a crucial aspect of this support involves procuring vaccines to bolster the government’s response. The statement emphasizes that this outbreak serves as a stark reminder of the critical role of vaccination. Nigeria is home to an alarming 2.2 million children who have not received even a single vaccine dose, making it the second-largest group of unvaccinated children globally.

UNICEF is committed to taking immediate measures to significantly reduce this number, firmly believing that every child deserves protection from preventable diseases. This deployment of diphtheria vaccines is a significant step toward safeguarding the health and well-being of Nigeria’s children and the broader population.

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