From Sani Gazas Chinade, Damaturu
In response to the alarming spread of Diphtheria in Yobe state, the government is ramping up efforts to contain the outbreak and protect its citizens.
Dr. Muhammad Lawan Gana, the senior special Assistant to the governor on Health matters, made this announcement during a coordination meeting of the health sector in Damaturu, the state capital.
Diphtheria, a highly contagious bacterial infection, has been wreaking havoc across the country, and Yobe state has recently reported the highest case records in Nguru.
The disease has also affected several other Local Government Areas (LGAs) including Gulani, Bursari, Potiskum, Tarmuwa, Damaturu, and Nangere.
Presently, active cases are being treated at the isolation centers of Specialist Hospitals in Potiskum and Damaturu, while approximately 289 cases have already been treated and discharged.
Dr. Gana emphasized that the state government, in collaboration with partners, has been implementing various interventions to combat the outbreak.
Furthermore, the health sector is devising a more coordinated and result-oriented strategy to prevent, manage, and ultimately eliminate the disease from the state.
One of the major areas of concern is the impact of zero dose vaccination households on the outbreak. To address this, the Yobe Ministry of Health is identifying these households and administering vaccinations for children under the age of two years.
Additionally, essential drugs and Diphtheria Antitoxin (DAT) are being provided to healthcare facilities in the state. Furthermore, the government is intensifying training programs for clinical staff to effectively manage and treat Diphtheria cases.
With the rainy season approaching, there is a fear that malaria cases may further complicate the Diphtheria outbreak. To mitigate this, massive community sensitization efforts are underway.
The government is conducting extensive advocacy, sensitization, and mobilization campaigns to educate communities on preventing and managing the outbreak effectively. Encouraging immunization acceptance among the populace is also a priority.
The State Social Mobilization and Community Engagement under the Ministry of Information will be at the forefront of these initiatives. Their deliberate and result-oriented advocacies, sensitization, and mobilization programs aim to curtail, manage, and eradicate these avoidable diseases.