Following the renewed outbreak of Diphtheria disease in some parts of Osun State, Governor Ademola Adeleke has ordered the immediate activation of the State Emergency Response Centre to curb any further spread.
He also ordered the launch of contact tracing and treatment of the infected residents. The governor’s directive was issued after a situation report from the State Ministry of Health on the outbreak, which has claimed one life at Osogbo, the State capital, with other suspected cases under testing.
“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 immunize our children and wards. Your government is on top of this medical development”, Governor Adeleke assured according to a statement issued by the Governor’s spokesman, Olawale Rasheed on Monday.
The Ministry had earlier briefed the Governor on the recent resurgence of diphtheria in the state, informing the state Governor that a suspected Diphtheria patient aged six-year-old 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, linelisting, follow-up and Active Case Search in the community of the index case and retroactive case search at the Health facilities within the community were ongoing. “Close contact (including health workers) of the index case were linelisted, 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 sensitization 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 action namely 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 immunization acceptability; building capacity of LGA Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers on case detection, sample collection, transportation and management ; and risk communication of the disease should be intensified in the state and its environs for easy detection.
“The Ministry has further advised members of the public to ensure the children and wards are fully vaccinated, avoid crowded environments, consult doctors in case of symptoms and eat fruits and vegetables,” Rasheed stated.