Nigeria reports drop in meningitis, steps up vaccination

Gloria Essien

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says the number of new cases of suspected Cerebro Spinal Meningitis (CSM) is declining in most affected states as more vaccines arrive.

The Communication Manager of NCDC, Dr Lawal Bakare, in a statement in Abuja said that reactive vaccination campaigns led by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) were successfully conducted first in Zamfara and subsequently in Sokoto State.

He added that both state governments have fully engaged in conducting the campaigns in order to ensure that the vaccines get to the people who are most at risk.

He said “as at the 9th of May 2017, 13,420 suspected cases of meningitis have been reported from 23 states with 1,069 deaths, giving a case fatality ratio of eight per cent. In the previous two weeks, the most affected states (Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and Kebbi States) have all recorded a drop in number of cases but Kebbi and Niger States reported zero deaths over this period.

“It is heartening to see the very high vaccination coverage achieved in communities targeted by the most recent campaign in Sokoto State,” he said.

Bakare said that the response to the campaign has been excellent with a very high turnout of people at vaccination centres in Zamfara and Sokoto states.

“Efforts at securing more vaccines for the country are continuing with another batch of vaccines expected to arrive Nigeria in the next few days, just as mobilising vaccines for other affected states continues to be a priority.’’

He said that the Federal Government and partners will continue to work to reduce the effect of the current outbreak on affected communities and ensure that the outbreak is fully controlled.

He added that plans had already started to prevent future outbreaks and ensure better preparedness.

Rafat S.