A serious diphtheria outbreak is tearing through Nigeria, where thousands of people have been infected and hundreds more have died.
With low national vaccination coverage and a worldwide shortage of lifesaving antitoxin threatening to worsen the outbreak, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) urges the international community to immediately scale up support to improve treatment, preventive measures and contact tracing to control the outbreak’s spread.
“We’re currently seeing more than 700 people with suspected diphtheria and admitting more than 280 patients on a weekly basis in Kano state’s two diphtheria treatment centres,” says Dr Hashim Juma Omar, MSF emergency project medical doctor. “Women and children aged under five are the most vulnerable groups and are the people most affected right now in Kano state. And they really need help.”