UNICEF Nigeria has announced the urgent need to secure an additional $3.3 million by the end of the year to combat the escalating diphtheria outbreak in the country.
This outbreak has led to over 11,500 suspected cases, with more than 7,000 confirmed cases, and tragically, the loss of 453 lives, predominantly children.
UNICEF Nigeria has revealed that the majority of cases affected children between four to 15 years old who had not received any vaccination, underscoring the critical need for vaccination in Nigeria.
The organization is actively providing crucial assistance to the Nigerian government in its endeavours to control the outbreak.
The dire consequences of this diphtheria outbreak serve as a stark reminder of the vital role of vaccination.
Nigeria is home to an alarming 2.2 million children who have not received a single vaccine dose, ranking as the second largest such group globally.
The statement by UNICEF Representative Dr Rownak Khan emphasized that it is imperative to collectively take immediate measures to significantly reduce the figures as every child deserves protection from preventable diseases, which is an absolute necessity.
UNICEF also called upon partners, stakeholders, and the global community to unite in ensuring that every child in Nigeria receives life-saving vaccines.
The organization stressed the importance of strengthening routine immunization, community involvement, and healthcare systems to prevent similar outbreaks in the future