Meningitis Death Toll Rises: Kills 745, affects 8,057
As the government is searching for a lasting cure to the dreaded disaster of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis, available reports have shown that the epidemic has claimed 745 lives, with 8,057 cases suspected across the country, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said.
Implications from the recent update revealed that there were more than 300 additional deaths in the last two weeks, which was a very bad signal for the country.
Of the 8,057 cases, 7,519 have occurred in the five states that have reached outbreak levels for Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) serotype C–Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi and Niger, according to NCDC.
Enhanced surveillance in several states in partnership with NCDC and partners has helped find and report more cases.
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) coordinated mass vaccination for 2-29-year-olds in Katsina and Zamfara, where the outbreak started.
Similar vaccination was planned for Sokoto, while distribution of medicines continued.
The incident manager, Dr John Oladejo, who heads the centre, said, “We are grateful to all Rapid Response Team members, including government agency and partner staff, who have remained at their different field posts, through the Easter period working on this outbreak response and control.”
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) NCDC, Dr.Chikwe Ihekweazu, the outbreak currently affects five states Zamfara, Sokoto,Katsina,Kebbi, and Niger.
He said the four key responses and control they have applied in affected areas are raising awareness of the epidemic in communities; implementing enhanced surveliance to quickly detect and report new cases ; vaccinating populations at the highest risk and treating persons diagnosed with the disease.