With a number of deaths from yellow fever confirmed in the Bauchi and Katsina States, Nigeria, the European Union is providing €80,000 (31.8 million Nigerian Naira) in humanitarian funding to assist affected communities and those most at risk from a potential spread of the disease.
As statement from the UNion’s Office in Abuja Nigeria said funding supports the Nigerian Red Cross in delivering much needed relief assistance to prevent the disease from spreading, including a health promotion awareness campaign on yellow fever and the importance of vaccination against the disease, active case-finding of suspected cases and referrals to treatment centres, and the destruction of breeding grounds of mosquitoes.
Affected or at-risk communities in the two states of Bauchi and Katsina, in northern and northwestern Nigeria respectively, will directly benefit from this aid. The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
In September 2017, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of a confirmed case of yellow fever in western Nigeria. Since then, Nigeria has experienced resurgent outbreaks of the epidemic in different locations across the country. All states of Nigeria have reported at least one suspected yellow fever case in 2019, with a total of over 2,000 suspected cases reported between 1 January and 31 July 2019 from all the thirty-six states that constitute Nigeria. There have been efforts to stop the outbreak from spreading and to strengthen its monitoring. On 6 September 2019, a yellow fever outbreak was confirmed in Bauchi state. Bauchi and Katsina are the two states with the highest number of deaths linked to the outbreak. Over thirty deaths from yellow fever have been reported so far in the two states.
Yellow fever is caused by a virus transmitted to humans by the bites of infected mosquitoes. The mosquitoes breed around houses (domestic), in forests or jungles (wild), or in both habitats (semi-domestic). The epidemic can spread rapidly. While there is no specific treatment for yellow fever, the disease can be prevented by vaccination.