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Jigawa confirms 10 children dead from diphtheria

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The Jigawa State government has confirmed the death of 10 children from diphtheria in the state.

The Permanent Secretary in the state’s Ministry of Health, Dr. Salisu Muazu, who confirmed the development to journalists on Saturday in Dutse, said 91 suspected cases were reported in 14 local government areas of the state.

He added that two confirmed cases were recorded in Kazaure and Jahun LGAs.

The permanent secretary urged the people of the state to promptly report persons with symptoms of diphtheria to Disease Notification Officers in the local government areas or to the nearest health facility in the state.

Muazu said: “There has been a diphtheria outbreak in the northern parts of Nigeria in the last four months.

“This is especially in neighbouring Kano, Yobe, Katsina, and Bauchi States.

“About two weeks ago, we received patients that had symptoms of diphtheria in 14 local government areas bordering states that already established the infection.

“The National Reference Laboratory in Abuja confirmed two of the 91 suspected samples we sent to have tested positive for diphtheria.

“In fact, in the last 10 years, we have not had diphtheria in Jigawa, but in those neighbouring states that now have the epidemic.

“The reason why we have it now may be due to the COVID-19 period when healthcare services completely broke down.”

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