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FG Issues Warning On Meningitis Outbreak In Nigeria



FG Issues Warning On Meningitis Outbreak In Nigeria

Meningitis is more prevalent during the dry season.

Abuja, Nigeria– The Federal Government of Nigeria has officially alerted citizens to the outbreak of Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM), and urged people to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.

The government said the warning became imperative as the weather condition brings with it frequent upper respiratory tract infections that increase the risk of infection, especially with crowding and poor ventilation.

The Director General (DG) of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), Ifedayo Adetifa said, the 2022/2023 statistics revealed that Nigeria recorded 2,765 suspected and 303 confirmed meningitis cases with 190 deaths across 140 local government areas in 30 states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

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He said the highest burden of Cerebrospinal Meningitis in Nigeria occurs in the “Meningitis Belt” which includes all the 19 states in the North, the FCT, and some southern states, such as Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo, Osun.

In a public health advisor issued Thursday, JAn. 11, Adetifa assured Nigerians that the government is working to prevent, detect, and respond to cases of the disease.

Mr Adeifa explained that despite significant progress in surveillance, diagnostic capacity, and vaccination over the last few years, CSM remained a priority disease and ever-present public health threat in Nigeria.

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He said its annual outbreaks in high-burden states pose a challenge to the people, health systems, economies, and communities. He also said Meningitis is more prevalent during the dry season.

According to him,  the NCDC, in collaboration with ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) and partners through the CSM TWG, had implemented several measures to ensure enhanced coordination, collaboration, and communication for response across the country.

“At the beginning of the season, all state governments and public health authorities were alerted to the heightened risk of a CSM outbreak and the need for resource mobilisation for preparedness and response activities.

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“Routine meetings of the national multi-sectoral CSM TWG (were held) to coordinate prevention and preparedness activities.

“Regular communication (were held) with high-burden states to ascertain status, progress, and challenges.”

Mr Adetifa explained that it is important to ensure that everyone received the appropriate vaccination required to protect against meningitis while avoiding close and prolonged contact with a confirmed case of CSM, including relatives.

He, however,warned that smoking and overcrowding in households should be avoided, in addition to practicing proper respiratory hygiene when coughing or sneezing.

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Buhari Olanrewaju Ahmed, a seasoned investigative journalist and climate/environmental reporter with a decade of experience, unravels complex issues and amplifies critical voices. His in-depth investigative work and insightful reporting have earned him recognition as a trusted source of information. Ahmed's unwavering commitment to journalism and exceptional storytelling prowess make him a standout figure in investigative journalism. His work drives meaningful conversations, influences policy decisions, and inspires collective efforts toward a sustainable future.

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