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EU allocates €1m to Nigeria for fight against diphtheria

EU allocates €1m to Nigeria for fight against diphtheria
November 22
10:55 2023

The European Union (EU) has released €1 million in humanitarian aid to Nigeria to help mitigate the diphtheria outbreak.

Nigeria is currently battling a diphtheria outbreak with over 10,000 confirmed cases since the beginning of the year.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Kano, Yobe, Katsina, Borno, Bauchi, and Kaduna carry the largest burden of the disease, collectively accounting for 96 percent of all suspected cases.

Children aged 1 to 14 years represent more than 70 percent of all confirmed cases.

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Analysis of the inoculation status reveals that over 60 percent of all suspected cases have not been vaccinated.

In a statement on Tuesday, the EU said the allocation comes with €150,000, which it allocated to the Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in March 2023, to help control the epidemic.

It said the funding will enable UNICEF contribute to the response by providing technical and staff support to frontline health agencies to enhance surveillance, treatment of cases, community awareness, and procurement of vaccines.

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“This funding is part of the EU’s Epidemics tool, created to provide rapid funding in case of a disease outbreak. Diphtheria is a highly contagious bacterial infection transmitted between humans,” the statement reads.

“It causes an infection of the upper respiratory tract, which can lead to breathing difficulties and suffocation.

“Those most at risk are children and people who have not been fully vaccinated against the disease.”

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