March 31, 2017

Meningitis: NCDC confirms 109 deaths in 5 states, as cases hit 1,966

Meningitis: NCDC confirms 109 deaths in 5 states, as cases hit 1,966

• Search for a universal malaria vaccine has been on for several years. The World Health Organisation, WHO, says malaria vaccines are considered amongst the most important modalities for potential prevention of malaria disease and reduction of malaria transmission.

By Chioma Obinna,

Abuja— The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has confirmed the outbreak of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis, CSM, in five states with 109 deaths.

Chief Executive Officer of the centre, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, who disclosed this in Abuja, yesterday, said 1,966 suspected cases had been recorded, while 109 had been confirmed dead since the outbreak of the disease in the country in February.

He said the centre had deployed a response team to the affected states to vaccinate the residents and control further spread of CSM.

According to him, Zamfara has the highest number of confirmed cases of 44, followed by Katsina with 32, Sokoto, 19; Kebbi 10 and Niger, four.

He also said there was an inter-agency response supporting the states to contain the outbreak through the primary mode of vaccination.

However, Ihekweazu explained that a new strand of meningitis called Stereotype C has emerged in place of the previous known type Stereotype A, which had disappeared.

He regretted that there was not yet commercially available vaccine for this new Stereotype C meningitis.

Death toll rises to five in Abuja

Meanwhile, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Primary Health Care Development Board, yesterday, confirmed the death of yet another person due to Cerebrospinal Meningitis in the territory.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reported on Wednesday that the board recorded four deaths on Tuesday in Durumi area of Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMA C.

Executive Secretary of the board, Rilwanu Mohammed, told NAN in an interview in Abuja that another death from the disease occurred in Dakwa, a border village of Bwari Area Council and Niger state on Wednesday.

He said: “The four suspected cases we have were all in Durumi I and II in AMAC while one confirmed case of a child happened yesterday (Wednesday) in Dakwa of Bwari area council.”

“The four that died in Durumi showed all signs of meningitis but there was an autopsy carried out in the one at Dakwa and was confirmed to be meningitis at the University of Abuja Teaching hospital, Gwagwalada.

“We have so far immunised all residents of Durumi that are within the ages of one year and 29 years and we are going to condone off Dakwa area today (Thursday) for a similar vaccination,” he said.

According to him, the board had so far immunised 65,000 residents as against 70,000 targeted for vaccination against meningitis in FCT.

He said that since the disease broke out in Zamfara, Sokoto and Niger states, the board intensified effort to curtail its spread in the territory.

The Secretary disclosed that the board focused on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and barracks for the vaccination exercise because of their vulnerability.

Mohammed advised residents to avoid crowded places and ensure crossed ventilation in their homes to prevent the spread of the disease.