Nigeria says Meningitis on decline after 839 deaths

Tuesday April 24 2018

Nigeria has declared that the meningitis menace was declining after recording 839 deaths from the outbreak.

The government said a total of 9,646 cases were reported.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said the number of new cases of suspected Cerebro Spinal Meningitis (CSM) was declining, as control measures took effect.

NCDC Communication Manager Lawal Bakare, said in Abuja on Thursday that the nation expected a continued decline in the number of new cases, with the intensification of control measures in the affected states.

New incident

“While the total number of suspected cases will rise with each new incident, the number of new cases recorded per week is dropping in the affected states, indicating that the outbreak is likely to have peaked,'' Dr Bakare said.


He said the national response had identified the need to provide technical support to all affected states in case management, epidemiology and risk communication.

The communication manager added that support teams were being deployed to the most severely affected states of Zamfara and Sokoto to further strengthen their response.

Support team

Dr Bakare further said a reactive vaccination, which would cover over 800,000 people aged between two and 29 years, had commenced in Sokoto on Thursday.

He explained that a national support team, led by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), would be providing support to Sokoto to ensure the vaccination was well coordinated.

“Partners from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Unicef and others are all collaborating with NPHCDA and NCDC to provide the best possible support to Sokoto during the vaccination.

Confirm diagnosis

“People are being mobilised to turn out en mass to be vaccinated,’’ he said.

According to the NCDC Chief Executive Officer, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the lessons from the outbreak would inform Nigeria's future responses.

“This includes the need to strengthen awareness, improve clinical skills of health workers, strengthen laboratory capacities to confirm diagnosis of meningitis promptly,’’ he said.