The death toll in Bauchi State’s Yellow Fever epidemic has risen to 16 out of 20 confirmed instances.
This follows the refusal of some people to vaccinate.
Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed, Executive Chairman of the Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BSPHCDA), gave the updates at his Bauchi office in an interview with newsmen.
Mohammed revealed that no less than 119 suspected Yellow Fever cases were registered, of which 20 instances were verified and 16 died.
He said: “We realise that all the people that rejected vaccination are the ones dying. The last three victims four days ago refused the vaccine and all three were infected.
“They took them to traditional healer who did his own work but the two were still unconscious. They were later taken to Bauchi but all of them died.”
He said all the cases were from Alkaleri local government area of the state.
The BSPHCDA Executive Secretary explained that, “We are planning to go into all the confirmed areas, about 55 places on Monday to carry out door spraying of all the lava sights and indoors spray and fumigation of all the communities.”
He disclosed that for visitors coming to Yankari Games Reserves, where the first three confirmed cases of Yellow Fever was recorded, vaccination points have been created, while all the chalets have nets to ensure that guests are protected.
Mohammed disclosed that at least 21 states in Nigeria are having Yellow fever outbreak while only three states – Bauchi, Katsina and Ebonyi States are now active.
He said that only Alkaleri local government area in Bauchi State has confirmed cases of Yellow Fever because it was the depot for monkeys and chimpanzee.
He thanked the federal government for supplying 500, 000 doses of vaccines, saying there has been 95 per cent compliance in the exercise.
He explained: “We have carried out vaccination of all the areas, including Yankari, and aerial spray of affected communities.
“We carried out aerial spay of all the lava sights in Yankari and all the four communities around to kill the vector that carry the virus to humans.
“So, the lesson is that if you refuse vaccination you are not protected.
“All the people dying are the ones that refused to be vaccinated.
“We can only carry out supportive treatment for those infected because they already have the virus and there is no cure for the virus except prevention through vaccination and we thank God that there is
Dr Mohammed revealed that there are plans to extend the vaccination to cover the entire state.
He stated: “The estimated population of Bauchi State is 7 million. We have given 500,000 doses of vaccines already for Alkaleri so we are expecting 6.5 million vaccines. We will not leave anybody unvaccinated in Bauchi State.”