30 Die, Dozen Hospitalized as Potiskum Record Outbreak of Diphtheria

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By Kasim Isa Muhammad

A suspected diphtheria outbreak in Yobe State has resulted in the death of not fewer than 30 children, with additional 42 hospitalized at the isolation centre of the Specialist Hospital in Potiskum Local Government area of Yobe state.

TCR learned that the areas most affected by the outbreak include Tandari, Misau Road, Sabuwar Sakateriya, Arikime, Ramin Kasa, Boriya, Igwanda, and Texaco quarters.

An insider from the Isolation Center revealed that the medical facility is facing a shortage of drugs to effectively manage the situation.

A concerned parent, Muhammad Isa expressed the urgency of the situation, highlighting the disease’s severity and its devastating impact on innocent lives.

He added that symptoms observed on affected children include fever, coughing, weakness, and other related ailments.

When contacted, Mallam Buba, the Potiskum Zonal Immunization Officer, refuted the reported casualty figures but admitted that at least 42 children were hospitalized.

He, however, lamented that many affected children did not receive timely medical attention as their parents did not bring them to the hospital promptly.

Mallam Abdurrahman Musa, Director of the Primary Health Care Unit in Potiskum LGA, stated that based on the received report, they have conducted public sensitization campaigns to raise awareness about preventive measures against the disease.

He said, “Samples had been taken to the laboratory for analysis, and efforts were underway to provide adequate drugs and continue immunization at the hospital’s isolation centre.”

Similarly, Idriss Abubakar who is a Nursing Officer, acknowledged the outbreak and the measures taken to address it.

He mentioned that the disease has affected persons ranging from children to adults, with some patients above 30 years old.

Mr Abubakar emphasized that the lack of compliance with immunization among affected families had contributed to the high number of affected children.

Idriss said that the diphtheria outbreak in Yobe State has caused significant loss of life among children and has resulted in numerous hospitalizations.

“Yes, government and health authorities have initiated measures to contain the outbreak, including sensitization campaigns and medical interventions. A diagnosis is awaited to confirm the nature of the outbreak and provide accurate information regarding the mortality rate.” He concluded.

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