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Fifteen Million Children Vaccinated Against Tetanus, Diphtheria – Minister of Health

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diphtheria vaccine

Prof Muhammad Pate, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, has revealed that over five million children have received the pentavalent vaccine since the initiation of the diphtheria response, while ten million children have received vaccination against Tetanus-Diphtheria.

Pate made this known during a ministerial press briefing organised by the Ministry of Information and National Orientation on Wednesday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

While the pentavalent vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b, the Tetanus-Diphtheria vaccine prevents tetanus and diphtheria.

Last Friday, the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr Jide Idris noted that Nigeria has recorded 16,248 cases of diphtheria and 646 deaths since 2022. Currently, Nigeria is also responding to Lassa fever, meningitis, measles, among others.

He highlighted the government’s proactive disease control measures, particularly in swiftly responding to the diphtheria outbreak by vaccinating millions of children. He said:

“Through robust vaccination campaigns and outreach programmes, we have achieved significant strides in sustaining immunisation coverage nationwide, safeguarding our communities, particularly our children, from devastating diseases.

“Notably, our swift response to the diphtheria outbreak underscored our commitment to proactive disease control measures, swiftly containing the spread and saving countless lives. Since the inception of diphtheria response, over 5 million children have been immunised with the Penta vaccine and 10 million children with Td vaccines.”

Dr Idris also highlighted the nation’s ongoing efforts to fight diseases like Lassa fever, meningitis, and measles, explaining that the government is distributing necessary supplies like protective gear, medicines, and hygiene items to states and treatment centers.

“Confirmed cases of Lassa fever are promptly treated at identified treatment centers across the nation. These centres are equipped with the necessary medical expertise, facilities, and medications to provide comprehensive care to patients. By centralising treatment and care, we can effectively manage cases, prevent transmission, and improve patient outcomes,” he said.

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