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22 children die of meningitis in Bauchi — Official

Bauchi — No fewer than 22 children died in an outbreak of Cerebra Spinal Meningitis, CSM,  in the last two months in Bauchi State, a government official said Tuesday in Bauchi.

Executive Secretary, Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, PHCDA, Dr. Musa Dambam, who disclosed this said about 138 cases of the disease were recorded in 15 of the 20 Local Government Areas of the state between January and February.

“We have recorded 138 cases, with 22 dead in 15 Local Government Areas of the state. However, when we segregated the data, while none of the LGAs has reached epidemic level, two wards in Bauchi and Ningi LGAs had reached epidemic level.

“We have carried out laboratory tests on the suspected cases and the results confirmed four cases of sero-type A and two cases of W135 of the disease,” he said.

Dambam said the Agency had intensified surveillance and conducted contact immunisation in the affected areas, to curtail the disease.

He said the Agency had supplied 105,000 doses of CSM vaccines to the state, adding that a mass immunisation exercise would be conducted in the two endemic areas.

Dambam said the Agency had embarked on a massive awareness campaign to sensitise communities on the symptoms and how to protect themselves from contracting the disease.

“We  have alerted health institutions in the state on the disease and urged health workers to report any suspected case to the Agency,” he said.

… 19 in Jigawa

By Aliyu Dangida

DUTSE — Acute shortage of Cerebral Spinal Meningitis, CSM, vaccines has caused the death of 19  people in the last three months in Jigawa State. At the moment, the state had only about 10 per cent of its total vaccines requirement of the required three million doses.

Confirming the incident to newsmen in Dutse, Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammad Nashabaru, said the areas hit by the pandemic include Gumel, Kafin-Hausa, Babura, Yankwashi and Dutse with about six persons were reported dead in Gumel alone.

“We need at least three million doses of the vaccines to tackle it effectively but presently we have only 10 per cent of the total amount required,” he said.

Nashabaru explained that about 17 Local Governments Areas were affected including Dutse, the state capital, adding that the epidemic was first noticed in January but became more alarming last week.
“Of course, there was outbreak of the CSM in the state and I can confirm 13 deaths from January to date. Government has been making effort to address the situation even though we are facing shortage of vaccines right now,” he said.

According to him, “as at the time of the initial outbreak, the state had only about 7,300 doses of the vaccines and it got additional 300,000 from the Federal Government last Friday which is grossly in adequate to tackle the situation,” adding that efforts are being made to secure additional vaccines so as arrest the situation before it gets out of hand.

The commissioner further said about 89 cases were reported to the hospital from January to date and that the state Ministry of Health had forwarded a request of vaccines to the Federal Ministry of Health since the discovery of the disease, noting that the situation was under control.

He said the present method of requesting vaccines from the Federal Ministry of Health was not helping matter as far as addressing meningitis cases is concerned.

“Although it was introduced to prevent a repeat of Kano meningitis saga that affected 200 persons, the method is causing delay in the supply of doses to states,” he said.


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