Meningitis death toll now 336 as cases hit 2997

The death figure in the Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) epidemic has risen from 328 to 336 as at yesterday even as the number of cases also increased from 2,524 persons to 2,997.

This means that the country has recorded eight more deaths and 473 more cases. But the epidemic is still contained within 16 states with Zamfara leading with more than half of the cases and deaths at 1,846 and 216.

A situation report on the CSM epidemic jointly published yesterday by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) noted: “As of 3rd April 2017, a total of 2,997 cases with 336 deaths have been reported from 92 Local Government Areas (LGAs) with 146 of cases being laboratory confirmed and Case Fatality Ratio (CFR) of 11.2 per cent.’’

Meanwhile, the Federal Government, through its agencies; the NCDC, NPHCDA and partners activated an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) on Monday to manage the epidemic. Technical Assistant on Communications, NCDC, Dr. Lawal Bakare, in a statement yesterday said this brings the national response into an Incidence Management System, to ensure that all activities across the country will be managed using a clear command and control structure led by an Incident Manager who reports through the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NCDC, to the minister of health.

Bakare said with this new coordinating structure, the country would have a tight, multi-partner team of experts pulled from the most competent agencies focusing on outbreak control in Nigeria.

Also, the Senate has urged the Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant government agencies to carry out a nationwide immunization of children and adults that are susceptible to the disease.

Adopting a motion sponsored yesterday by Senator Gbenga Ashafa, the Senate said there is a need for the Federal Ministry of Health and its counterpart ministries at the state level to work together to prevent further outbreak of the disease.

It said the vaccine should be acquired through a special process coordinated by the World Health Organization. Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, said the Federal Ministry of Health must provide the needed vaccines for victims and full vaccination for newborn babies.

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