Meningitis kills 4 in Niger

From Yakubu Mustapha Minna

The Niger state government has uncovered an outbreak of Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) with laboratory tests confirming 31 cases and four deaths in some local governments of the state.
The Commissioner of Health and Hospital Services, Dr. Mustapha Jibril made the disclosure in a press briefing yesterday in Minna saying that the cases and deaths recorded so far have remained confined to two local government areas of Magama and Katcha.
Our reporter gathered that no fewer than 123 cases with 33 deaths across 12 local government areas was recorded last year with Magama taking the highest hit of 31 deaths.
The Commissioner said the outbreak is also occurring in other states with 209 suspected cases with 22 laboratory confirmed and 11 deaths reported countrywide.
He, however, warned that there could be possibility of more outbreak and higher mortality rate as the heat increases.
Dr Jibrin hinted that in response to the outbreak, the ministry of health has activated response mechanisms across the 25 local government areas, while also working closely with World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, Doctors without Borders and other partners in tackling the menace.
He advised the citizens to embrace good personal and environmental hygiene as well as avoiding overcrowding and also ensuring adequate ventilation in their respective homes.
He also disclosed that surveillance has been intensified, including active case search across all the wards within the 25 local government areas of the state.
He said the first set of positive samples have been taken to the National Centre for Diseases Control laboratory in Abuja for higher level analysis, added that the General Hospital in Auna has been designated as referral health facility for treatment of cases in the state.

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