Diphtheria in Nigeria: is there resurgence?

  • A.E Sadoh
  • A Okhakhu
  • V Omuemu
  • P Lofor
  • O Oviawe

Abstract

Reported cases of diphtheria from Nigeria have been reducing since the beginning of the millennium even though coverage with diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (DPT) vaccine has only been low to moderate. Accordingly only sporadic cases of diphtheria have been managed in the past in our hospital. However the occurrence of five cases in the period of one year raises questions on the status of diphtheria control in Nigeria. We present the clinical and sociodemographic features of the cases and discuss the implications of a rising incidence of diphtheria. We conclude by noting the need for health care workers to have a high index of suspicion in children with no, incomplete or uncertain immunization status who present with symptoms of pharyngo-tonsillar disease and by a call for the strengthening of routine immunization services in Nigeria.
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eISSN: 1596-6569