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Diphtheria outbreak: Adeleke orders reactivation of emergency centre

Free, fair elections, potent path to immortalize MKO Abiola, other heroes of democracy- Gov. Adeleke

Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun has ordered the immediate reactivation of the state’s Emergency Response Centre following the outbreak of diphtheria in the state.

Olawale Rasheed, the governor’s spokesperson, in a statement on Monday said that Adeleke’s directive was issued after a situation report from the ministry of health on the outbreak of the disease, which has so far claimed one life in Osogbo, with other suspected cases under testing.

The governor said, “I have directed that the state emergency response be reactivated. As a matter of urgency, the confirmed case at Osogbo is to be immediately followed up with contact tracing to ascertain status of those who had been in contact with the victim.

“Additionally, emergency treatment must be made available to the infected. We are in touch with the National Centre for Disease Control for exchange of information and technical support. I want to assure our people that proactive steps are being taken to nip in the bud any widespread escalation of the outbreak.

“Our people must be vigilant and observe precautions the ministry of health will soon be issuing. We must never forget to immunise our children and wards. Your government is on top of this medical development”, Adeleke assured.

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The ministry had earlier briefed the governor on the recent resurgence of diphtheria in the state, informing him that a suspected diphtheria patient aged six years was said to have developed the sign and symptoms on June 25, 2023 and died of the infection on July 7.

According to the ministry, detailed case investigation, contact tracing, line-listing, follow up and active case search in the community of the index case and retroactive case search at the health facilities within the community are ongoing.

Close contact (including health workers) of the index case were line-listed, monitored and placed on medication.

Knowledge attitude and perception form was administered to the household within the community, so as to access their knowledge about the disease.

More sensitisation was done at both community and the health facilities, as people were not conversant with the disease.

As a follow up to the governor’s directive, the ministry has embarked on a number of actions- production and distribution of handbills, posters and billboards; training of health workers on case definitions and infection prevention and control of diphtheria; production and airing of jingle on prevention of diphtheria; training and retraining of health workers on sample collection of diphtheria; increase the awareness of immunisation acceptability, among others.