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WHO votes 1,800 diphtheria vaccine for Nigeria August

The World Health Organisation, on Monday, said plans were underway to deliver 1,800 vials of diphtheria antitoxin to Nigeria on August 2.

The WHO country representative, Dr Walter Mulombo, made this known at a joint press conference held in Abuja on diphtheria outbreak response organised by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.

Mulombo said Nigeria will also receive erythromycin on or before two weeks, pending the government authorisation as the health commodities are essential for saving lives and reducing complications in affected patients.

Diphtheria antitoxin is a medication made up of antibodies used in the treatment of diphtheria. Erythromycin is a macrolide antibiotic that is used to treat various bacterial infections.

These health commodities are essential for saving lives and reducing the sequelae in the affected patients, thus need to be prepositioned in Nigeria and ready to be deployed to the states in need,” Mulombo said.

Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection caused by the Corynebacterium species that affects the nose, throat, and sometimes, the skin of an individual.

As of July 27, Nigeria had 836 diphtheria cases and 83 deaths from Cross River, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Lagos, Osun, Yobe, and the Federal Capital Territory.

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