Nigeria: Meningitis Deaths Rise to 745

Death toll in the ongoing epidemic of meningitis C climbed to 745 on Monday, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said. That’s more than 300 additional deaths in the last two weeks. Some 8,057 cases suspected to be meningitis have been reported across the country. Of the 8,057 cases, 7,519 have occurred in the five states that have reached outbreak levels for Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) serotype C–Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi and Niger, according to NCDC. The Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on Primary Health Care convened a meeting of governors and traditional leaders from all northern Nigerian states with federal government and development partners in efforts to end the outbreak. Enhanced surveillance in several states in partnership with NCDC and partners has helped find and report more cases. The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) coordinated mass vaccination for 2-29-year-olds in Katsina and Zamfara, where the outbreak started. Similar vaccination is planned for Sokoto, while distribution of medicines continues. The NCDC’s emergency operations centre for meningitis leads national coordination of response to the outbreak. The incident manager, Dr John Oladejo, who heads the centre, said, “We are grateful to all Rapid Response Team members, including government agency and partner staff who have remained at their different field posts, through the Easter period working on this outbreak response and control.” NCDC chief executive officer Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu said, “The NCDC will continue to engage proactively through all our channels of communication online and offline.

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