OSUN State Government is planning to reimmunise children around places where Diphtheria infections were recorded in the state.
OSUN DEFENDER noted that there was an outbreak of Diphtheria in some parts of the state, which has resulted in one death.
The suspected diphtheria victim who was six years old, was said to have developed the sign and symptoms on June 25, 2023, and died of the infection on July 7.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with OSUN DEFENDER, the Director of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Dr. Akeem Bello, noted that most of the people coming down with diphtheria symptoms were those whose immunization was suspected to be incomplete.
Bello noted that if a child takes proper immunisation without default, it is very rare for that child to have the infection.
He stated that the state team was working hard to curb the spread of the infection through sensitisation and tracing people linked with those who had the infection.
Bello said: “We recorded about 15 suspected cases but we only have two confirmed cases from Ilesa East local government in January and in Osogbo in June. Unfortunately, we lost that of Osogbo. Eleven suspected cases were negatives while we are still awaiting results for other two suspected cases.
“We suspected that those who had diphtheria infections might have not taken proper immunization. Since there is a vaccine against diphtheria, if a child takes proper immunisation without default, it is very rare for that child to have diphtheria. What we discovered is that a lot of people that are coming down with diphtheria had no proper immunization.
“There is a plan now to reimmunise all the children around the area where we have this disease, to make sure they are fully immunised. The disease spread through contact by air.
“The government have been very supportive. When we have a situation like this, we have to line lists all the contacts of the patients and trace them. We also educate the people about it.
“Also, we activated our emergency centres of diphtheria in January, and two weeks ago, we re-activated the centres. We have a surveillance, management and logistic team as part of the diphtheria EOC and we all are working together.”