Nigeria has secured €150,000 (N75 million) gift from the European Union to tackle Diphtheria disease.
The humanitarian fund will assist the most affected communities in the states of Kano, Katsina, Lagos, and Osun states.
The Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States, in a statement issued, on Monday, said the allocation was in response to the significant increase in diphtheria cases recorded since the beginning of 2023 in Nigeria.
It was reported that diphtheria is a highly contagious bacterial infection transmitted between humans. It causes an infection of the upper respiratory tract, which can lead to breathing difficulties and suffocation.
It recalled that on January 20, 2023, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control and Prevention officially declared an outbreak of diphtheria in Kano and Lagos States after several suspected cases appeared a month earlier.
The disease then spread rapidly to other states. From 136 cases in the first week of 2023, the country now records a total of 733 suspected cases and deplores 89 fatalities.
According to the EU, the gesture was in response to the significant increase in diphtheria cases recorded since the beginning of 2023 in Nigeria.
The statement read in part “The EU funding will enable the Nigerian Red Cross to provide emergency assistance to reduce the impact of diphtheria on affected and at-risk communities through risk communication, outbreak control activities, surveillance, patient referral and hygiene promotion, and early case detection in affected areas.
“This funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
“Humanitarian assistance will, directly and indirectly, target around 1,585,080 people, with a particular focus on vulnerable people at risk of diphtheria, those living in sheltered communities or hard-to-reach locations.”