Diphtheria: Death toll hits 100 in Kano, 26 in Bauchi
.Kano shops for six million vaccine doses, Bauchi releases N97m for BHCPF
Death toll from the deadly diphtheria infection in Kano State has risen to 100, as Bauchi State confirmed the death of 26 residents linked to the disease across 10 of the 20 local councils of the state.
Updated data from Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) revealed that the figures were as at July 30, 2023. The present figure is against 76 deaths reported in June.
The latest development is coming even when the state government said it required not less than six million doses of vaccines to combat the disease.
According to NCDC, 4,160 suspected cases were reported at the end of July, of which 1,534 were confirmed.
Kano has the highest burden of the deadly outbreak with 3,234 suspected cases, of which 1,207 turned out positive.
In a meeting with representatives of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Governor Abba Yusuf solicited sustainable partnership with the foundation, especially in the areas of immunisation.
He expressed gratitude to the foundation for its support in the health sector, while seeking more interest in areas of agriculture and digital finance.
Chairman of Kano Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA), Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed, while giving an update on the disease situation, yesterday, in Bauchi, explained that there were 180 suspected cases, 22 suspected deaths and four confirmed deaths from the disease.
According to the Diphtheria Outbreak Situation Report data of August 23, the 10 councils worst hit are Bauchi, Dambam, Darazo, Ganjuwa, Giade, Itas/Gadau, Jama’are, Katagum, Misau, Ningi and Shira.
Mohammed said the northern part of the state recorded more cases than the south because of its proximity to Yobe and Kano states.
He added that some victims at the grassroots had died of suspected cases of the disease before getting tested.
Meanwhile, the PHCDA has said N96.9 million has been released for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) to care for vulnerable groups under the programme in the state.
Mohammed made this known on Thursday, at a media quarterly meeting organised by United States Agency for International Development Integrated Health Programme (USAID-IHP), in collaboration with Journalists for Public Health and Development (J4PD) on budget performance and health finance reform.
According to him, the fund is N300,000 for each of the 323 Primary Healthcare (PHC) facilities in every political ward to cater for the vulnerable groups.
Also, the Coordinator of J4PD, Elizabeth Kah, urged journalists to develop more interest in health reporting and follow the government’s budget and releases to ensure that public health gets the desired attention.
“We should not just end our report at where the governor presents the budget and his assent to the document. There is an Abuja Declaration, which says that 15 per cent of the government’s budgetary allocation should go to health. We need to know how much this 15 per cent is and how much of it is being released,” she said.
Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Bauchi Contributory Health Management Agency, Rahama Musa, said thousands of Bauchi residents across both formal and informal sectors were benefiting from the scheme.
She added that the beneficiaries cut across children below five years, women of childbearing age, the aged, People with Disabilities (PWDs) and other vulnerable Nigerians.
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