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Meningitis: Death toll rises to 328 as FG advocates prompt diagnosis

Meningitis: Death toll rises to 328 as FG advocates prompt diagnosis
April 01
19:03 2017

A total of 328 persons have died from meningitis in Nigeria since November 2016.

Isaac Adewole, minister of health, made this known in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday by Boade Akinola, director, media and public relations of the ministry.

The minister said that the health ministry through the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), had been of tremendous support to the affected states since the outbreak.

According to Adewole, primary health centres have been directed to treat all reported cases of meningitis free of charge.

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He also advised Nigerians to get diagnosed early enough once they notice symptoms.

“We have started working with the affected states on massive awareness and sensitisation, laboratory investigation and analysis, proper documentation and disease surveillance techniques,” he said.

“Through our initiatives, we have secured 500,000 doses of the meningococcal vaccines from WHO which will be used in Zamfara and Katsina states with additional 800,000 units from the British government.

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“By next Tuesday, there will be a meeting with the International Review Group of the WHO, where request for additional vaccines shall be approved, as part of practical and medically certified efforts to stem this ugly incidence.

“We have been assured of millions of vaccine doses through other notable and international donor agencies.

“This new outbreak is from a suspected new strain of the bacterial disease, Meningitis Stereotype C, of which the vaccine is not commercially available in required quantities.

“The vaccine can only be shipped into the country by WHO only if laboratory investigation confirms the existence of the strain type C.

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“Government is advocating for prompt diagnosis and issued a directive to all federal medical facilities and PHCs to treat all cases of meningitis free of charge.”

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