More Nigerians die of meningitis, 1,098 cases in six weeks
•NCDC says ‘outbreak is over, response to epidemic stepped down’
No fewer than 1,166 persons have died of cerebrospinal meningitis across 25 states in the country.This was revealed in the latest report by the National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) on the ongoing subtype C of the disease in Nigeria.
The report, which indicated that over 14,518 have been affected, said there has been a decline in the outbreak.The EOC was established by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) and some partner organisations.
According to the statement: “The outbreak has been in constant decline for eight weeks and the affected states have recorded fewer new cases. In the last four weeks, no local government area has reached outbreak alert threshold.”
But the centre’s claim was contradicted by another report by the NCDC that there are more cases of meningitis today than last month. “As at May 9th 2017, 13,420 suspected cases had been reported from 23 states with 1,069 deaths, giving a case fatality ratio of eight per cent. In the previous two weeks, the most affected states were Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and Kebbi states, which recorded a drop in the number of cases. Kebbi and Niger states reported zero deaths over this period,” the statement added.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the planning process to prevent future outbreaks has begun. Ihekweazu said the laboratory capacity has also been improved upon with the recent operationalisation of the new National Reference Laboratory in Gaduwa, Abuja.The facility was support by the Federal Ministry of Health, the United States Centre for Disease Control (US CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).