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Reduce kissing, handshakes, others to prevent Meningitis- Ministry of Health

(Last Updated On: April 3, 2017)

 

By Tinuade Salami

 

Nigeria’s Ministry of Health has issued a public advisory following the outbreak of Cerebrospinal

Meningitis (CSM) that has spread across the country affecting States in the upper parts of the

country.

Reports say, the deadly disease which falls within the African Meningitis Belt in Nigeria is ravaging in other West- African Neighbouring countries such as Niger, Chad, Cameroun, Togo, and Burkina Faso.

The larger African Meningitis Belt consists of 26 Countries that stretch from Senegal, Gambia and

Guinea Bissau in the west coast to eastern countries of Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Ninety (90) Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Sixteen (16) States of the Federation are so far

affected including Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Nassarawa, Jigawa, FCT, Gombe, Taraba , Yobe, Kano, Osun, Cross Rivers, Lagos and Plateau.

According to reports, the total number of people affected across these States is 2,524 with 328

Deaths.

So far, a total 131 samples have been confirmed in the Laboratory, out of which a majority are

Neisseria Meningitides type C.

Also, it was learnt that this current outbreak started in Zamfara State, northern part of Nigeria in

November 2016.

Among other preventions, the Ministry of Health in Nigeria has advised the public to take

precautions by avoiding overcrowded environment, sleeping in well ventilated places, avoidance of

close and prolonged contact with a case/s, maintaining proper disposal of respiratory and throat

secretions.

It also stated that strict observance of hand hygiene and sneezing into Elbow joint/sleeves, reduce hand shaking, kissing, sharing utensils or medical interventions such as mouth resuscitation, vaccination with relevant sero-type of the meningococcal vaccine and self-medication should be avoided and to prevent contracting the deadly disease, The Ministry in a public report thanked all the National and International Development partners (Multilateral and bilateral) who supported in accessing the relevant CSM Vaccines which have already been deployed to Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and FCT.

The Federal Ministry of Health had reassured that it would continue to provide regular feedback to

the General Public on the necessary steps to take.

Meanwhile, everybody had also been advised to remain calm and continue to abide by the health advisory being issued periodically.