Kaduna State, Nigeria – A recent outbreak of diphtheria disease in some communities in Kafanchan, Jemaá Local Government Area of Kaduna State, has tragically led to the deaths of ten children. The Kaduna State Ministry of Health has confirmed the link between the fatalities and the diphtheria outbreak, prompting urgent action from the state government.
Governor Uba Sani, in a statement conveyed by his Chief Press Secretary, Muhammad Shehu, expressed deep concern over the mysterious disease’s impact on the affected communities. He swiftly directed the emergency health team to launch an immediate investigation to determine the cause and extent of the outbreak.
Reports from Takau Ward, Kafanchan A, and Kafanchan B wards indicated that residents were experiencing distressing symptoms, including difficulty in breathing, high fever, cough, general body weakness, sore throat, and neck swelling. The gravity of the situation led to heightened vigilance and comprehensive measures to contain the disease.
According to a preliminary report from the Ministry of Health, the first recorded case of diphtheria in Kafanchan was documented at the beginning of July 2023, underscoring the need for swift and targeted responses to prevent further casualties.
Governor Uba Sani commended the health officials for their prompt response to the health emergency and encouraged them to persevere in their efforts to curtail and ultimately eradicate the disease. The government’s actions thus far include the swift relocation of affected cases to well-equipped hospitals for proper management, active case searches, contact tracing, and intensive community sensitization in all affected areas and surrounding communities.
In addition to the authorities’ proactive measures, residents have been strongly advised to take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the disease within their communities. Essential preventive steps include frequent handwashing with soap and water, avoiding close contact with sick individuals, covering mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing, staying home from work or school if feeling unwell, and maintaining regular physical activity to boost immunity.
The Kaduna State government urges residents to remain vigilant and report any suspected cases of diphtheria promptly to healthcare authorities. With a collective effort and robust response, the hope is to swiftly contain the outbreak and safeguard the well-being of all communities affected by this alarming health challenge.