The Head, UNICEF Field Office, in Kano, Rahama Mohammned-Farah, disclosed this during a one-day media sensitization on the Diphtheria outbreak in the state on Tuesday.
He further noted that Kano State has the highest number of recorded cases in Nigeria.
He said “Recently, we have seen a surge in the number of reported Diphtheria cases in Nigeria, and Nigeria is currently facing an outbreak that needs to be stopped and prevented.
“As of July, Diphtheria cases have been on the rise. As of last week, over 400 suspected cases with 11 deaths have been reported in Kano.
“Out of the 39 LGAs affected, eight are the most affected, including Ungogo with 2,651 cases; Dala 989, Fagge 943, Gwale 714, Kumbotso 713, Nasarawa 538, Kano Municipal 506 and Tarauni 269,” he said.
According to him, 60.8 per cent of the cases had been reported in children who were not vaccinated.
“UNICEF delivered 1.2 million vaccines to the Kano State Government in our continuing support to the government response to the Diphtheria outbreak.
“Diphtheria outbreak is a threat to child survival, health and the wellbeing of children. UNICEF is collaborating with the government and partners to respond to the emergency to save the lives of the children affected.
“In Kano state, UNICEF supported Tetanus-Diphtheria reactive vaccination campaigns in February, April and August, vaccinating 23,200 children in round one.
“While 277,796 children were vaccinated in round two and 29,500 others in round-3 of the exercise.
“We engaged 150 traditional leaders on the Diphtheria outbreak and distribution of Diphtheria IEC materials and deployed 1,500 VCMs to the worst affected LGAs to conduct house-to-house sensitisations and referral of suspected cases to health facilities.
“Media has a key role to play particularly in infection prevention, and risk communication and community engagement,” he said.
In his remark, Dr Muhammad Nasir-Mahmoud, the Director-General, Kano State Primary Healthcare Management Board, said the state government had adopted drastic measures to curtail the spread of the disease.
“We are committed to educating the public about what is happening and the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has promised that Kano will be accorded priority in terms of vaccine distribution,” he said.