Senate Mandates Nigerian Government To Commence Immunization of Vulnerable Citizens Against Diphtheria
The Senate has mandated the Federal Ministry of Health to, as a matter of urgency, commence immunization of vulnerable Nigerians against Diphtheria disease following the death of 20 people in Kaduna State.
The Senate decision followed a motion which came under order 41 and 51 sponsored by Senator Sunday Marshall Katung (PDP Kaduna South) informing the Senators that about 20 people have died of Diphtheria in Kafanchan and Makarfi local government areas of Kaduna State.
Senator Katung said the index case of a four-year-old male child whose illness started on July 4 in Jema’a LGA has led to the killing of about 20 people.
The Senate therefore mandated the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) and the Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA) to liaise with the hierarchy of the Kaduna State Ministry of Health and other states for massive vaccines against the disease.
The Senate also called for intensified search for active cases of diphtheria with contact tracing, risk communication activities and movement of affected cases to health facilities for management.
Contributing to the debate, Sen Ibrahim Khalid (PDP Kaduna North), who seconded Katung’s motion said the spread of the disease is wider now adding that instead of focusing on the five affected local governments, the government should take a holistic approach.
The lawmaker said Jama’a and Makarfi LGAs are border towns with Kano, Katsina while Jama’a LGA shared borders with Nasarawa and Plateau state adding that if the disease is contained in these communities, it will help stop the loss of lives.
Others who supported the bill included Tony Nwoye (LP Anambra North), Darlington Nwokocha (Abia Central) and Sen Diket Plang (Plateau Central).
The Senate President Goodwill Akpabio, who thanked Katung for bringing the motion, added that it will save lives and help the country from going into pandemic.