NIGERIA—In an effort to stop the spread of diphtheria and other infectious diseases throughout the state, the Anambra State Government has started a two-day training course for Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers.

The program was formally opened in Awka on Tuesday by the state’s commissioner of health, Afam Obidike, according to the local daily,   Premium Times.

In view of the escalating worries over the current diphtheria outbreak in several states, he underlined its significance.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), as of October 19, there were approximately 15,060 suspected cases of diphtheria infections throughout the nation.

9,478 of the suspected cases—from 137 local government areas (LGAs) in 20 states and the Federal Capital Territory—were confirmed.

Mr. Obidike, a physician, stated in his speech that the nation has already documented over 11,000 potential cases, which called on the state to take preventative action.

The bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheriae is the cause of diphtheria, an infection with mild to severe signs and symptoms that typically appear two to five days after contact.

In more severe cases, the bacteria produce a toxin that causes a thick white or grey region at the back of the throat. Symptoms usually begin slowly, with fever and sore throat.

This may result in a barking cough that causes the neck to partially swell due to enlarged lymph nodes, and it may clog the airway, making it difficult to swallow or breathe.

The toxin may also enter the bloodstream and result in symptoms such as nerve irritation, renal problems, bleeding issues brought on by low blood platelets, and heart muscle inflammation and damage.

These monitoring personnel were handpicked from Anambra State’s 21 local government areas.

The commissioner emphasized that the government’s determined response to the widespread diphtheria epidemics includes training as a crucial element.

The speaker said that the officers will be adequately prepared with preventive skills and procedures to quickly notify the relevant ministry or agency and effectively gather samples during any outbreak in their respective council regions.

Mr. Obidike stressed how important this training is, particularly in the harmattan time when respiratory tract diseases are more common.

He emphasized that a comparable strategy has been used to good effect in the past during outbreaks of measles, Lassa fever, yellow fever, and monkeypox.

This preventative action made it possible to quickly identify, treat, or quarantine illnesses.

Diphtheria treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), involves using diphtheria antitoxin to stop the bacteria’s toxin from damaging the body. This treatment is very important for respiratory diphtheria infections, but it is rarely used for diphtheria skin infections.

Additionally, antibiotics can be used to kill and get rid of bacteria. This is important for diphtheria infections in the respiratory system, on the skin and other parts of the body

 The commissioner encouraged the cops and emphasized how crucial it is to treat the training seriously for the inhabitants’ welfare.

Chima Emembolu, the state epidemiologist, had already revealed that no outside health partners in Nigeria or elsewhere provided funding for the training; it was entirely supported by the state government.

Funds were made available by Governor Chukwuma Soludo to guarantee a proactive strategy and the execution of steps to stop the spread of diphtheria throughout the state.

Another goal of this funding is to facilitate an early reaction to any possible disease outbreak.

Emembolu acknowledged the state government’s dedication to public health and safety while expressing gratitude for its support.