Osagie Ehanire, minister of state for health, has told Abdulaziz Yari, governor of Zamfara state, that the outbreak of meningitis in some parts of the country has nothing to do with moral or spiritual lifestyles of Nigerians.
Yari had blamed the outbreak on fornication and other sins being committed by Nigerians.
But Ehanire trashed the governor’s statement in an interview with state house correspondents on Wednesday.
“The federal government does not have views of that nature and I am not sure the state government can really continue to make that statement,” he said.
“When things happen, yes you can begin to look this way and that way for the cause of it.
“But like I said nature played us an unfortunate stroke but that is not to say we committed sin or anything.
“It does happen that things occur out of the blues.”
The minister noted that there had been a very robust response of his ministry and the affected state governments along with the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Nigeria Primary Health Care Development Agencies, World Health Organisation, UNICEF and other partners.
He therefore allayed the fears of Nigerians about the ministry’s response on the outbreak of the virus, adding that already 500,000 doses of vaccines were being distributed to the affected states.
“Government is also getting 826,000 units which are being shipped from Europe to us within the next few days,” he said.
“The most affected states have been Zamfara, Sokoto and Katsina and together they have about 85 per cent of the cases.
“As of today, there have been 2,996 cases in 16 states and 54 local governments.
“There have been 336 fatalities of which 141 have been confirmed by laboratory tests.”
He announced that two treatment centres were being set up in every local government and lumber puncture kits had also been distributed so that doctors could take samples to laboratory for testing.