UNICEF places Ekiti State under surveillance over meningitis
NCDC says further spread under control
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has placed Ekiti State on surveillance to prevent outbreak of meningitis that has killed hundreds of people in the Northern part of the country.
It said although there was yet no reported cases of outbreak in Ekiti, the organization was working with experts in the Ministry of Health to be on alert.
UNICEF Representative in Ekiti, Abiodun Olagunju, said this in Ado Ekiti yesterday during a stakeholders’ meeting to discuss the second phase of polio vaccination in the state.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in its latest report yesterday by the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has revealed that the number of suspected new cases of meningitis has begun to decline as outbreak control measures took effect.
The report stated that Neisseria meningitides serotype C was the commonest cause of meningitis among those who tested positive while 48.2 percent of the suspected cases were between the ages of five to 14 years.
In the six most affected states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Yobe, Kebbi, and Niger, 14 local government areas are currently within the alert threshold and are therefore currently under enhanced surveillance, while 29 councils have reached the epidemic threshold with full outbreak investigation and control measures being implemented.
Chief Executive Officer of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu said a total of 628 new cases were reported in week 16 compared to 1,935 in week 15 and 2,127 in week 14.
“The cumulative number of suspected cases recorded throughout the outbreak period is now 9,646 and 839 deaths from 43 local government areas in 23 states. However, only five states have at least one local government area over the outbreak threshold, down from six last week,” he said.
He pointed out that while the total number of suspected cases will rise with each new case, the number of new cases recorded per week was dropping in the affected states, indicating that the outbreak was likely to have peaked.
“We expect a continued decline in the number of new cases with the intensification of control measures in the affected states,” he added.
He however stated that a reactive vaccination campaign, which would cover over 800,000 persons between the ages of two and 29 years, began yesterday in Sokoto State, adding that a national support team, led by NPHCDA would provide support to Sokoto State to ensure that vaccination activities were well coordinated and efficiently delivered.