Beware of deadly epidemic on rampage that have killed 230 and 3,774 affected in 15 days

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Amid claim of declining infection rate by the National Meningitis Emergency Operations Centre (NMEOC) Cerebro Spinal Meningitis (CSM) has killed 230 and affected 3,774 Nigerians in the last 15 days, The Guardian reports.

Voice of Ndigbo gathered that despite speculations that vaccines are in short supply, the unit, set up by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), maintained that the tackling of the epidemic was succeeding, as it held that the potency of the epidemic had been waning in the most affected states.

The fresh deaths from the disease require more action on the part of the agencies of government saddled with the task of tackling the outbreak.

In a report on Monday, May 15, the NCDC, said the reactive vaccination campaign, led by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), was successful in Zamfara and Sokoto states.

According to the document, as at May 9, 2017, 13,420 suspected cases and 1,069 deaths were recorded in 23 states, representing an eight per cent fatality rate.

However, in the two weeks before, the most hit states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and Kebbi recorded a drop in incidence.

Specifically, Kebbi and Niger states reported zero death over the period.

But earlier statistics suggested a rise in infection and casualty in parts of the country.

According to the figures also released by the centre, 628 fresh cases were reported in week 16, 1,935 for week 15 and the one before accounted for 2,127.

The last report, which was released on April 26, 2017, showed the cumulative number of suspected cases recorded nationwide.

The figures were put at 9,646 and 839 deaths from 43 local councils in 23 states.

However, the latest document indicates that that infection rate rose from 9,646 to 13,420 while the casualty figure leaped from 839 to 1,069 across the 23 states in just 15 days.

It therefore means that the ailment killed 230 more people and infected 3,774 others within the period

Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Chief Executive Officer of NCDC, said the concerned state governments were fully involved in the advocacy with a view to ensuring that the vaccines get to the right people and the most vulnerable.

Ihekweazu said efforts at securing more vaccines for the country were ongoing.

He revealed that another batch was being expected in a couple of days, adding that the mobilisation of vaccines for other states remained a priority of the administration.

Besides vaccination, Ihekweazu said, NMEOC, with support from the World Health Organisation (WHO), had deployed teams in the most affected states to support coordination, case management and surveillance activities.

Ihekweazu said NMEOC had commenced a national meningitis prevention campaign, prioritising the states within Africa’s meningitides belt across the federation.

 

In a statement made available to newsmen, CDC said that a total of 13,420 suspected cases had been reported in 23 states with 1,069 deaths, Leadership reports.

According to CDC, the northern states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, and Kebbi, which were the worst affected, have all seen a drop in the number of cases.

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