EU supports Nigeria with N31 million to fight yellow fever

File photo of a female health official tries to drop a polio vaccine into the mouth of a child at Kaiama town, 16 May 2005 in Bayelsa State.
File photo of a female health official vaccinating a child

The European Union has pledged to assist Nigeria with N31.8 million to combat the outbreak of yellow fever in Katsina and Bauchi States.

There has been an upsurge of yellow fever cases in the two states with more than 30 death reported since September. Health officials said the outbreak was traced to people who visited the Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi.

The fund is aimed at supporting efforts by the Nigerian government and other donor partners toward rolling back the spread of the disease.

A statement issued by EU on Thursday explained that the fund will help affected communities, and those most at risk from potential spread of the deadly disease.

The EU said the fund will be disbursed through the Nigerian Red Cross.

“This EU funding supports the Nigerian Red Cross in delivering much needed relief assistant to prevent the disease for spreading, including a health promotion awareness campaign on yellow fever and the importance of vaccination against the disease.

“They will also help with active case finding of suspected cases and referral to treatment centres, and the destruction of breeding ground for mosquitoes.”

The EU added that affected or risk communities in the two states, will directly benefit from the aid.

The funding is part of the EU overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Yellow fever outbreak

On September 6, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed an outbreak of yellow fever in Bauchi state. Since then the The NCDC has announced there were 243 suspected and 27 confirmed cases, and 34 deaths.

READ ALSO: Yellow Fever: Ebonyi to conduct mass immunisation of residents

Before the current outbreak, Nigeria has been witnessing a resurgence of the disease in pockets of cases in different parts of the country. As it stands, all the 36 states and FCT has reported suspected cases of yellow fever in 2019 with a total of over 2000 suspected cases from January 1 till date.

The country has however been fighting the small outbreaks of the disease since 2017. The Federal Government has embarked on yellow fever vaccination for the affected areas and other surrounding location prone to the disease.

Although yellow fever vaccine was introduced in 2004 as part of the routine immunisation the overall population of people immunized in affected areas remain low.

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