The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has revealed that as at April 17, the death toll from the recent Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) outbreak had risen to 745, while a total of 8,057 cases have been recorded so far.
Stating this in a statement made available to THISDAY wednesday, the Technical Adviser, NCDC, Dr. Lawal Bakare, said the number of deaths represent 9.2 per cent of the total cases, while of the 8,057 cases, 7,529 (93 per cent) occurred in five states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi and Niger.
He said the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and NCDC would continue to lead the federal government’s response to the outbreak, with activities focused on four key outbreak response and control areas.
“These include raising awareness of the outbreak in communities, implementing enhanced surveillance to quickly detect and report new cases, vaccinating populations at the highest risk and treating persons diagnosed with the disease as well as outbreak preparation in local government areas and states at risk for the outbreak.
“To increase awareness of the outbreak and coordinate response across states, the Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on Primary Health Care convened a meeting of governors and traditional leaders from all Northern Nigerian states. The meeting, held in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and its agencies, and international partners focused on strategies to end the outbreak,” he said.
Bakare stated that the state governors have reaffirmed their commitment to the immediate and concrete actions towards halting the outbreak. He added that traditional leaders were also committed to continue awareness in their communities and jurisdictions.
“At national level and in affected states, activities aimed at driving information into grassroots, including advocacy meetings with religious leaders, civil society organizations, health professionals, entertainers and media organisations is on going.”
He said the NPHCDA has successfully led vaccination in Zamfara and in Katsina, targeting persons between ages 2-29 years in the priority local government areas in both states.
“Preparations are at advanced stages for the next round of vaccination in priority wards and local government areas in Sokoto State. Distribution of medicines and other essential commodities to treat persons with meningitis in key affected states is also ongoing.”
According to the Incident Manager of the response, Dr. John Oladejo, “We are grateful to all Rapid Response Team members, including government agency and partner staff who have remained at their different field posts, through the Easter period working on this outbreak response and control.”