Daily Trust

Meningitis in record decline after 1,069 deaths

- By Judd-Leonard Okafor

Four of the six states most affected in the outbreak of cerebrospi­nal meningitis have a drop in the number of cases reported for the first time, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said.

In the two weeks leading up to May 9, Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and Kebbi all recorded a drop in number of cases, NCDC said in its weekly epidemiolo­gy report.

Kebbi and Niger States reported zero deaths over this period.

But a total 13,420 suspected cases of meningitis have been reported from 23 states as at May 9.

Nearly eight out of every 100 cases died, resulting in some 1,069 deaths recorded so far.

NCDC said the decline was the result of tighter coordinati­on of response to meningitis.

It said reactive vaccinatio­ns have been successful in Zamfara and Sokoto, which saw high turnout at vaccinatio­n centres.

“Efforts at securing more vaccines for the country are continuing with another batch of vaccines expected to arrive Nigeria in the next few days, just as mobilising vaccines for other affected states continues to be a priority,” said Lawal Bakare, technical adviser for communicat­ions at NCDC.

The emergency operations centre for meningitis has begun a national campaign for prevention.

The campaign would Nigerian states within meningitis belt a priority.

It hopes to “prevent the further spread of this outbreak, but will also help the preparedne­ss for any future outbreaks,” said Bakare.

“This campaign will be driving prevention messages through the mass media, new media and community structures to reach households and communitie­s in the 19 northern states of Nigeria, and the FCT.” make Africa’s

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