The FCT Executive Committee (FCT EXCO), has directed all relevant health agencies to take necessary measures against the emergence of the deadly childhood disease, Diphtheria
The directive followed reported cases of the disease in some states near the FCT.
The EXCO also directed that the Health and Human Services Secretariat of the FCTA ahould ensure increased surveillance and awareness to curb the risk of the disease within the territory ,as well as liaise with the Area Council Services Secretariat, Chairmen of the six Area Councils, to immediately convene an emergency meeting in this regard.
Diphtheria is a bacterial infection caused by the organism referred to as Corynebacterium diphtheria which affects the throat, nose, and sometimes, skin of unvaccinated children and rarely found in adults with poor immunity.
The symptoms of the disease also include fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, red eyes, neck swelling, and difficulty in breathing.
Diphtheria spreads easily between people through direct contact with infected people, droplets from coughing or sneezing, and contact with contaminated clothing and objects.
To reduce the risk of contracting the disease, children are expected to get fully vaccinated with three (3) doses of the Pentavalent vaccine as recommended in the National childhood immunization schedule.
The FCT immunization coverage currently stands at 83%, against the national average of 57%, though at least 95% of all children are expected to be vaccinated to build their immunity, thereby preventing the spread.
The EXCO also directed the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) to restrict the activities of the Point of Sales (POS) operators scattered around the Federal Capital City to only commercial areas because of security concerns.
The FCT EXCO meeting, which was presided over by the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello was attended by the FCT Permanent Secretary, Olusade Adesola, Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Bashir Mai-Borno, Secretaries of FCT Mandate Secretariats as well as other Directors.
By Remi Johnson,Edited by Grace Namiji