UNICEF FLood FG kano state health crisis WASH Flooding Children Diseases JPV Vaccinate Bauchi staff
The UNICEF staff association has donated medical equipment to a PHC in kano.

Rigorous Vaccination Needed to Halt Diphtheria in Nigeria – UNICEF

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has raised the alarm about the urgent need for widespread vaccination to contain the spread of diphtheria disease in Nigeria.

It expressed worry that most cases are children aged between four and 15 years, who had not received even a single dose of the vaccine.

The outbreak has so far resulted in over 11,500 suspected cases, 7,000 confirmed cases and 453 fatalities, mostly children.

Representative, Dr. Rownak Khan, said:
“The devastating impact of this diphtheria outbreak is a grim reminder of the importance of vaccination. Nigeria is home to a staggering 2.2 million children, who have not received even a single dose of vaccine – the second largest such cohort in the world. We must collectively take urgent actions to drastically reduce this number. Every child deserves protection from preventable diseases. This is not negotiable.”

So far, on behalf of the government, UNICEF has deployed 9.3 million doses of diphtheria vaccines to Kano, Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, Katsina, Kaduna, Jigawa and other states. Four million doses have been dispatched to Kano, the epicentre of the outbreak. Another four million doses are being procured and will be handed over to the government in the coming weeks.

The agency called on partners, stakeholders, and the international community to rally together and ensure that every child in Nigeria is reached with life-saving vaccines.

The children’s agency emphasised the importance of strengthening routine immunisation, community engagement and health systems to avoid similar outbreaks in the future.

To respond effectively to the outbreak, UNICEF Nigeria needs to raise additional $3.3 million until the end of the year.