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PDP chides FG over alleged mismanagement of cerebrospinal meningitis

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Meningitis

• We were caught off guard, says minister
• ‘2.8 million doses of vaccines under way’
• No meningitis in Lagos, Nasarawa, Borno, say health commissioners
• Idris confirms three deaths, 40 cases of diarrhoea at Queens College

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said that the attitude of both Zamfara State and the Federal Government to curtail the scourge of cerebrospinal meningitis “is disheartening and preposterous.”

A statement signed by the spokesman of the party’s national caretaker committee, Dayo Adeyeye, said: “This government wasted so much funds on the State House clinic with no tangible result but neglected other health centres and clinics across the country that have capacities to manage the health challenges of other Nigerians.”

Also, the opposition party described as worrisome the statement credited to Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdullaziz Yari, in which he attributed the outbreak of meningitis to God’s making.

“This is shameful and very unfortunate as the APC has run out of reasons to blame previous PDP administration but it’s now blaming God for its failures.“We wish to advise him to resign immediately for making such statement as a state governor as well as chairman of Governors’ Forum who is supposed to bring hope to the people and not despair,” the party said.

Minister of State for Health, Osagie Ehanire, has said that the Federal Government was caught off guard by the outbreak of rare Type C meningitis in the country.Addressing State House Correspondents after yesterday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, Ehanire said the ministry was only familiar with the control of Type A meningitis, which it had vaccines for.

He, however, assured that the government was making concerted efforts to combat the outbreak as it had placed an order for vaccines from across the globe.Also, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has given an assurance that it would soon take delivery of about 2.832 million doses of vaccines to tackle the outbreak in the northern part of the country.

Executive Secretary of the agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaibu, who disclosed this during an emergency meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Health Care Services, said that the vaccines would be sourced from the United Kingdom (UK) and India.

Meanwhile, Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, said health workers in the hospitals (public and private), the state epidemiology team and the disease surveillance and notification officers (DSNOs) in all the local councils had been placed on high alert on the outbreak of cerebrospinal meningitis.

The commissioner insisted that no case of the disease had been recorded in the state contrary to what had been published.In the same vein, the Nasarawa State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Aiya, has debunked reports on outbreak of cerebraspinal meningitis in the state.

Also, the Borno State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Haruna Mshelia, yesterday declared that there was no reported case of meningitis epidemic in the state.In another development, the Lagos State Ministry of Health has confirmed the death of three students of Queens College, Yaba, Lagos and hospitalisation of 37 others due to an outbreak of diarrhoea.
  
Idris, however, told journalists yesterday that sporadic cases might still be expected due to multi-microbial nature of the disease occurrence.  He said the Lagos State Government regrets the unfortunate incident, especially the deaths recorded, and hereby commiserates with the parents on the painful losses and the hardship faced by survivors.

  
The commissioner, who insisted that the disease was due to contamination of the multiple sources of water in the school, said because of the poly-microbial nature of this occurrence, continuous screening, follow-up and monitoring would continue for all students and members of staff of the school.
 
He said the school authority, in collaboration with the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), Old Girls Association and the Federal Ministry of Education, is speedily addressing identified areas of lapses.
  
The interventions, according to Idris, include decommissioning of the multiple contaminated water sources; among others, and as soon as the results are satisfactory, the shool will be certified fit for reopening.


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