Niger spends N39m to combat meningitis outbreak
Niger Government says it has spent N39 million to combat the outbreak of Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) in the state. The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Mustapha Jibril, told newsmen on Friday in Mina that the state recorded 33 deaths out of its 123 CSM cases.
Jubril said that a total of 4,100 tablets of Ciprofloxacin were distributed to contacts of suspected cases in the affected areas, including health workers. According to the commissioner, represented by the Director of Public Health, Dr Muhammed Usman, 12 local government areas were affected by the epidemic.
“Magama LGA had 70 cases and recorded 31 deaths; in Rijau, 17 cases were recorded with one death; Kontagora had a record of 19 cases with one death.
“The remaining nine LGAs are Suleja with six cases; Agwara, two cases; Paikoro, one case; Mashegu one case; Tafa, one case; Mariga, one case; Lapai one; Beji, one; and Bosso Local Government, one case without any death.
“Thirty-three lives were lost in three of the affected local governments,’’ the commissioner said.
Jibril said that Outbreak Response Centres had been activated to help curtail the spread of the disease.
He warned Niger residents against sleeping in crowded rooms and to report persistent headache and neck pain to the nearest hospital.
He advised the public to protect themselves from people with cough and flu as the bacteria causing meningitis could spread from person-to-person through coughing and sneezing.
He said that the state was collaborating with the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) and Doctors without Borders to respond to the outbreak.
Meningitis is a relatively rare but contagious and deadly infection that affects the delicate membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.
Bacterial Meningitis can be deadly among people in close contact, while Viral Meningitis tends to be less severe, with most people recovering completely without specific therapy.
Fungal meningitis is a rare form of meningitis and generally occurs only in people with weakened immune systems.