After the disease had caused about 1,166 deaths over 23 weeks in 25 states, the Nigerian government has finally declared the meningitis epidemic over in the country. The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, made the declaration on Wednesday. “We have formally declared the Meningitis outbreak over in the country,” he told State House correspondents at the end of the meeting. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, had earlier on Monday on its official Twitter handle declared that the meningitis outbreak was over. Before the declaration, health officials combated the disease since late last year under monitoring by the Ministry of Health, the NCDC, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA, and International partner organisations. Statistics from NCDC showed that a total 14,518 suspected cases were reported from 25 states since the outbreak was first recorded in Zamfara State in November 2016. “We also informed FEC that we have not recorded new cases of Polio in the country in 2017. We have recorded seven new cases of Lassa fever across the country and the cholera outbreak in Kwara State has also fizzled out”, Mr. Adewole said on the other public health issues. The NCDC, on its official Twitter handle on Monday, stated that from its data analysis in the last few weeks, it was confirming the 2016/17 meningitis outbreak in Nigeria over. The Executive Director of NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said with the outbreak over, Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) responding to the epidemic had been stepped down. Mr. Ihekweazu said the outbreak had been in constant decline for eight weeks during which the affected states had recorded much fewer new cases. The decline is believed to be due to the change in weather as Nigeria entered the rainy reason from the hot weather during which the disease spread. The NCDC said it has also begun preparation for the next meningitis season. According to the NDDC tweet, “Our preparedness for the next meningitis season has begun. We are working towards being better prepared than we are.”

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