The United States Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has said to respond effectively to the diphtheria outbreak in Nigeria, it needed to raise an additional $ 3.3 million to support the federal government’s response
A crucial part of this support, according to the global humanitarian agency, includes the procurement of vaccines to support the government’s response.
UNICEF revealed that so far, on behalf of the government, it has deployed 9.3 million doses of diphtheria vaccines to affected states including Kano, Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, Katsina, Kaduna and Jigawa.
“Of these, 4 million doses have been dispatched to Kano, the epicentre of the outbreak. Another 4 million doses of vaccines are being procured and will be handed over to the government in the coming weeks,”it said in a statement on Wednesday by Dr Rownak Khan, UNICEF Representative.
It expressed worry over the unprecedented diphtheria outbreak and appealed for urgent vaccination.
The statement read:” In the midst of the most severe diphtheria outbreak in recent global history, UNICEF Nigeria is sounding the alarm about the urgent need for widespread vaccination.
“The outbreak has so far resulted in over 11,500 suspected cases, more than 7,000 confirmed cases, and claimed the lives of 453 people, mostly children.
“Most cases are children aged between 4 to 15 years who have not received even a single dose of the vital vaccine, laying bare the urgency of the vaccination situation in Nigeria.