745 persons killed by meningitis in 8,057 cases – FG

The Federal Government on Wednesday said 745 persons have been killed in 8,057 suspected cases of Cerebrospinal Meningitis across the country.

In a statement by the Technical Assistant, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Lawal Bakare, the FG said efforts are being made to increase awareness of the outbreak and coordinate response across states.

Bakare stated, “As of April 17, 2017 (Monday), 8,057 suspected cases of meningitis had been reported across the country; 230 (3 per cent) were laboratory confirmed.

“A total of 745 deaths (9.2 per cent) have been recorded.

“Of the 8,057 cases, 7,519 (93 per cent of cases) have occurred in the five states that have reached outbreak levels for CSM serotype C.”

He added, “At the national level and in the affected states, activities aimed at driving information in the grassroots, including advocacy meetings with religious leaders, civil society organisations, health professionals, entertainers and media organisations, continue.

“The National Primary Health Care Development Agency successfully led vaccination in Zamfara and in Katsina states targeting persons between ages two and 29 years in the priority Local Government Aeas in both states. “Preparations are at advanced stages for the next round of vaccination in priority wards and local government areas in Sokoto State.”

Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has also said the government has commenced investigation into the theft of meningitis vaccines in some states.

“We are investigating the allegations that vaccines have been disappearing because of theft. We have nothing to substantiate it. We have heard of it; so far, nobody has been able to substantiate it, but we are investigating it.

“What we are worried about is for Nigerians not to go and pick vaccines from any shop because they might sell fake vaccines to them; that is my fear. It is available and so, nobody should go and buy fake vaccines,” the minister stated.

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