Lessons from menin­gi­tis

Sunday Trust - - VIEWPOINT - Yushau Ab­dul­lahi wrote from Paiko, Niger State.

As much as it is sad that so many peo­ple died from Menin­gi­tis this year, I will also say that it was em­bar­rass­ing. This is not the first time, the dis­ease is strik­ing, es­pe­cially in the North­ern part which is usu­ally the most af­fected due to its hot weather con­di­tion. Why then did the author­i­ties wait un­til the dis­ease be­gan to kill peo­ple be­fore tak­ing ac­tion. The first re­port we got af­ter peo­ple started dy­ing from the ail­ment was that there was scarcity of vac­cine. Why didn’t the author­i­ties make ar­range­ments for the vac­cine, con­sid­er­ing that we are not new to this out­break? And even when the vac­cine was made avail­able, some pa­tients were asked to pay for it. We re­ally have to take is­sues a bit more se­ri­ously than we are do­ing at the mo­ment. This at­ti­tude of ‘busi­ness as usual’ has caused us a lot of prob­lems as a coun­try.

We mustn’t be caught nap­ping all the time. The deaths recorded this year could have been avoided or min­imised if only proac­tive steps had been taken.

This is a yearly oc­cur­rence, so ad­e­quate prepa­ra­tions for vac­cine should be made long be­fore the sea­son. There should be proper aware­ness so that par­ents es­pe­cially those in ru­ral ar­eas en­sure that peo­ple in their house­holds are im­mu­nised. The lat­est ail­ment also brought to the fore the state of our health fa­cil­i­ties. Many pa­tients were seen ly­ing on floors, so apart from bat­tling the ail­ment, they also had to con­tend with poor in­fra­struc­ture. That re­ally should not be the case. Rel­e­vant au­thouri­ties should do more in the health sec­tor. The gov­ern­ment needs to in­vest more in the sec­tor to avoid na­tional em­bar­rass­ment such as that which was wit­nessed re­cently with the menin­gi­tis out­break. All hands must be on deck in ad­dress­ing health is­sues in the coun­try. It should not be left to gov­ern­ment alone. In­di­vid­u­als who have the re­sources should also in­vest in the sec­tor to en­sure that health­care is brought close to the peo­ple. Qual­i­fied per­son­nel should also be hired to ad­min­is­ter drugs and give proper care to pa­tients at all times.

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