Meningitis outbreak: Death toll rises to 745

  • FG strengthens prevention measures

Latest figures released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) indicate that the number of deaths associated with the Cerebrospinal Meningitis outbreak in some states in the country has risen to 745. A statement made available by the Technical Adviser Communications of NCDC, Dr. Lawal Bakare, yesterday in Abuja, disclosed that out of the total 8,057 reported cases, 7,519 cases were recorded in five northern states namely; Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi and Niger.

“As at April 17, 2017, 8,057 suspected cases of meningitis have been reported across the country; 230 (3%) were laboratory confirmed. A total of 745 deaths (9.2%) have been recorded. Of the 8,057 cases, 7,519 (93% of cases) have occurred in the five states that have reached outbreak levels for Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) stereotype C,” Bakare said.

He, however, noted that the Federal Government is scaling up coordinated responses involving the Ministry of Health, international partners, state governors, northern traditional leaders, to seek out effective strategies to curb the outbreak in affected states.

“Nigeria continues to respond to the recent outbreak of Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) stereotype C in some states in the country. The outbreak currently affects five states – Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi and Niger. “The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the NCDC continue to lead the Federal Government’s response to the outbreak, with activities focused on four key outbreak response and control areas.

These include raising awareness of the outbreak in communities, implementing enhanced surveillance to quickly de-tect and report new cases, vaccinating populations at the highest risk and treating persons diagnosed with the disease, as well as outbreak preparation in LGAs and states at risk for the outbreak,” he said.

According to him, the surveillance activities embarked upon by the states and NCDC, contributed immensely to an increased case finding and timely report of meningitis cases in several states.

He added that the NCDC Rapid Response Teams of trained doctors and scientists will continue to provide on-site outbreak investigation and control support to affected states.

Bakare, who noted that the NPHCDA has carried out a successful vaccination of persons between the ages of two and 29 in priority local government areas in Zamfara and Katsina states, explained that preparations are at an advanced stage for the next round of vaccination in priority wards and local government areas in Sokoto State.

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