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We’ll apply antiviral treatment for Monkeypox high-risk patients – NCDC

By Deborah Onyofufeke

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, said it has developed a treatment regime which could include the option of antiviral treatment for those at highest risk of having severe complications, hospitalization and even death.


The Director General, NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, stated this at the Ministry of Health, bi-weekly Ministerial press briefing hosted by the Minister, Dr Osagie Ehanire, in Abuja.


Dr Adetifa, giving statistics of the casualties suffered so far from the monkey pox outbreak this year in the country, said that, Nigeria has so far recorded 1,180 suspected cases of monkey pox with 482 recorded cases and seven deaths.

He explained that the centre is putting its best foot forward in working on ways to reduce the suffering and death rate in patients suffering from monkey pox attack.


He said “People with immunosuppression fall in that category. People who have dual infection with chickenpox or monkeypox at the same time fall in that category.


“We want to be able to reduce the sufferings in patients and the death rate while working on an integrated, one health approach to bring monkeypox under control,’’ he said.

Speaking on Cholera outbreak, Adetifa said, 10,217 cases have so far been recorded with 233 deaths in 31 states and 243 local government areas, giving Nigeria the unpleasant record of the country with the highest number of cholera cases worldwide.

He further disclosed that, cholera infection was recorded everywhere, where there were challenges with water, sanitation and hygiene without difference for neighborhoods that look rich or look developed.


“If you have challenges of water, sanitation and hygiene, cholera is not far behind.


“At the moment, we are about to send rapid response teams to Adamawa, Bornu, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina and Yobe because of the rapid increase in case numbers,’’ he said.

On measles, Adetifa disclosed that a total of 18,000 cases had been confirmed and 234 deaths recorded in 2022.


He added that children under the age of five years are most at risk and that at the moment 40 local government areas had active cases.

He noted that although, measles outbreak is not as highly-reported as other ailments, it is an ailment that causes significant suffering and death in children.

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Adetifa, called on parents to endeavor to vaccinate their children against measles as a way to keep it under control.


The NCDC DG, also disclosed that 933 confirmed cases of Lassa fever was recorded in 2022, which makes it two and a half times higher than the number of cases recorded in 2021.


He said there had been 173 Lassa fever deaths in 25 states and 102 local governments with 71 per cent of the deaths recorded in Ondo, Edo and Bauchi states.

Adetifa, speaking on the Ebola outbreak, said there was an on-going outbreak of Ebola in Uganda caused by the Sudan strain of the virus, which had become worrisome because of the West African experience.


He stated that the Sudan strain of Ebola virus was not covered by available vaccines and that there were neither licensed vaccines nor treatments for it.

He assured, however, that all concerned authorities were on high alert given the realities of globalization and the fact that an infection such as Ebola was just a plane flight away from any country.

“We have a bit of reassurance because we have some experience in handling Ebola.

“We have the diagnostic capacity; but we will rather not have it. We would rather not have to respond to it especially with the strain that has no vaccines and no licensed treatments.

“Point of entry surveillance is at a very high level. Passengers travelling from Uganda or who passed through Uganda are being followed up for 21 days to ensure that their health is clear.

“The difference between Ebola and something like COVID-19 is that victims need to be actually sick and symptomatic before they can transmit.

Giving COVID-19 updates, Adetifa said that in more than two years into the outbreak, Nigeria has conducted more than five million tests; confirmed 65,741 cases and 3,155 deaths.

He confirmed that with additional tests, the spread of COVID-19 had slowed down significantly to the odd one here and there.

Adetifa encouraged Nigerians to receive the available vaccines to prevent the emergence of new variants.

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Executive Director, Dr Faisal Shuaibu, represented by the Director, Community Health Services, Dr Usman Adamu, said 55,663,574 persons had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine as at Oct. 9.

He added that the figure represented 49.8 per cent of the eligible target set for the vaccine while 42,851,999 persons, which represents 38.3 per cent of the eligible target had been fully vaccinated.

“About 81,480,282 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have so far been administered in Nigeria and only 123,202 mild to moderate cases of adverse reactions to the vaccines were recorded with no related death.

“This confirms the fact that the COVID-19 vaccines used in the country are very safe and effective,’’

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