Posted by Garba Ahmed, Kaduna | 12 April 2017 | 1,329 times
Kaduna State has recorded one death in 17 suspected cases of cerebrospinal meningitis across the 11 Local Government Areas of the state.
The State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, made the disclosure at a meeting with the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, Northern Governors and traditions rulers. The meeting was convened by the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, to tackle the outbreak of meningitis in five states of the Northern region on Tuesday in Kaduna.
“Here in Kaduna State, we have 17 suspected cases across the 11 local governments with one type C case and one death,” the Governor said, assuring that the state has instituted measures, alongside the effort of neighbouring states. He also assured that with the proactive steps so far taken, it is hoped that the epidemic will be curtailed in the state.
“We have intensified surveillance and engaged in mass media enlightenment while mobilising appropriate medical supplies in our hospitals across the state,” he said.
He described the meeting as timely and expressed the hope that it will come up with strategies to combat the epidemic.
El-Rufai expressed hope that the Sultan would take the battle against meningitis with the same zeal he took on polio eradication.
He said the North-west zone has been battling with the epidemic for the past two months adding: “It is a new type of meningitis that our healthcare professionals are not conversant with; it is type C meningitis. The action so far taken by the Federal Government has slowed down the spread.”
Aminu Tambuwal, Sokoto State Governor in his remarks, said over 1,000 cases were reported and that the state government had to mobilised with traditional leaders and other stakeholders, particularly development partners to create awareness especially on the need for proper ventilation.
“We had a collaboration with the Federal Ministry of health, we received over 20,000 vaccines from the Ministry and we are expecting about 800,000 more vaccines. Our target is to have two million vaccines for vaccinations to cover most of the areas. We have had challenges of drugs and challenges of health personnel as well,” he added.
Public Health agencies in Nigeria led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) are supporting several states in the North-West to respond to the outbreak.
The Minister of Health disclosed that so far, 489 deaths had been confirmed in the 4,637 cases of cerebrospinal meningitis across some states recorded as at April 10. The affected states are Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina and Niger.
Given the size of the outbreak and the number of states affected, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is leading a multi-agency CSM Outbreak Control team to coordinate the response. This team includes representatives from the NPHCDA, World Health Organisation, UNICEF, US Centers for Disease Control, Médecins Sans Frontières and EHealth Africa.