Meningitis reaches Ibadan as ministry confirms two cases

    By Odunewu Segun

    The deadly Cerebrospinal Meningitis which has been ravaging some states in the northwestern and north-central zones of Nigeria with 300 lives lost has finally showed up in Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital.

    National Daily gathered that two suspected cases of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis were on Thursday recorded in Ojoo, Akinyele Local Government.

    The Director of Public Health, Oyo State Ministry of Health, Oyewole Lawal, who disclosed this said the ministry’s surveillance committee detected the two patients in the Hausa Community of Ojoo area of Ibadan.

    “The two suspects arrived Ibadan from the Northern part of the country and they manifested some symptoms of CSM. We have beefed-up tracking and increased surveillance efforts in all primary healthcare centres at the local government levels, secondary healthcare level and all the private hospitals around Ojoo.”

    He said the State Government is making spirited efforts to ensure that officers at the Disease Notification and Surveillance Unit are working assiduously to monitor the suspects. “As soon as we get the alert from the state office, we will immediately alert the Disease Notification and Surveillance officers in the 33 local government areas of the state.”

    According to him, the type of meningitis recorded in Oyo in 2014 is different from this year meningitis; the 2017 CSM is “Zero Type C’’. He said that the state government had requested for vaccines from the Federal Ministry of Health.

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    Meanwhile, the federal government says it has put in place a robust response mechanism to tackle the outbreak of meningitis, which has killed over 300 Nigerians since the latest outbreak.

    The Minister of State for Health, Mr. Osagie Ehanire told journalists after the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja that the government is procuring 500,000 doses of vaccines from Europe, in addition to the number already being administered.

    In his words he said, “We have mobilised vaccines to come in from all corners, 500,000 unit doses of vaccines are being distributed and vaccination campaign has started already. “The government is also getting 826,000 units which is being shipped from Europe to us within the next few days.

    The Minister further noted that there are two treatment centres being setup in every local governments, with doctors ready available to be able to take blood samples to the laboratory.

    This is the worst meningitis outbreak to hit Nigeria since 2009, when there were over 9,000 cases reported and 562 deaths.

    The predominant type of meningitis causing the outbreak is type C, which is not common in the country. And the most affected group has been children aged five to 14.

    Meningitis outbreaks are currently reported in five states (Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger and Sokoto) in northwestern and north-central zones of Nigeria.