Daily Trust

Meningitis outbreak kills 20 students in Yobe

- From Habibu I. Gimba, Damaturu

Adisease suspected to be meningitis has hit some public boarding schools killing at least 20 students in Potiskum, Fika, and Fune local government areas in Yobe State.

The outbreak started in Government Science Technical College, Government Girls Science Technical College, and Federal Government Girls College, all in Potiskum LG.

Daily Trust gathered that at least 20 students died after the outbreak of the disease in three public schools in Potiskum LGA while some of the students who are critically ill have been admitted at the Potiskum Specialist Hospital and they are currently recuperati­ng.

The Commission­er for Basic and Secondary Education, Dr Muhammad Sani Idriss, confirmed the outbreak, saying 20 students were killed by the disease suspected to be meningitis.

He said Governor Mai Mala Buni of the state has directed the state Ministry of Education to temporaril­y relocate to Potiskum in response to the suspected meningitis outbreak in some schools. The commission­er said several students have been admitted at Potiskum Specialist Hospital and they are showing positive responses to their treatments.

He said, ‘‘I had a meeting with the principals of these three secondary schools to join hands and fight this disease. We have stationed ambulances in all these schools for emergency cases. We also assigned three teachers to work for three hours in the classes checking the conditions of these students who are not affected.

“After three hours, three other teachers will take over from them checking the health condition of these unaffected students asking them if they are not feeling fine or have new reactions in their bodies. We are doing this 24-hour service as proactive measures to ensure that we curtail this disease.

‘‘At least 17 students have died in two secondary schools belonging to the Yobe State government while one lady from the Federal Government Girls College also died as a result of this disease making them 18 students.

He said there was no accurate figure on the number of students suffering from the disease as some were in isolation centres in their schools while others are receiving treatment in the hospital.

‘‘We received a report that this disease has spread to some schools in Fika and Fune LGAs but so far, we have a record of 20 students who died in both primary and secondary schools in the state after finding new cases in Gadaka and Jajere villages who are under Fika and Fune LGAs.’’

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