THE Jigawa State Ministry of Health has verified a diphtheria outbreak in the state, with 91 suspected cases and ten deaths.
Dr Salisu Mu’azu, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, stated this yesterday to reporters in Dutse.
He revealed that two confirmed cases had been detected in the local government areas of Kazaure and Jahun, with more samples being sent to Abuja for testing.
“The outbreak appears to have struck hardest in areas where routine immunization coverage was lacking,” the Permanent Secretary said.
He went on to say that the state administration had been aggressive in dealing with the situation, particularly after reports of diphtheria epidemics in neighboring states like Kano and Yobe.
Mu’azu emphasized that the Ministry had meticulously gathered crucial information and statistics from the affected areas and had swiftly notified the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and the National Disease Control for coordinated intervention.
“The state government is now actively preparing to administer vaccines once they become available”, he said.
Mu’azu further ascribed the outbreak to healthcare service delays created by the COVID-19 pandemic a few years earlier, which resulted in the suspension of normal immunization efforts, leaving the population vulnerable to such outbreaks.