Nigeria: Meningitis Outbreak – Death Toll Rises to 438-Official

The death toll from suspected cases of meningitis has reached 438, an official said. John Oladejo, the incident manager of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, stated this in a statement released by the centre. “As at April 5, 2016, 3,959 suspected cases have been reported as part of the current outbreak, of which 181 cases have been laboratory-confirmed.”A total of 438 deaths (11 per cent of all cases) have been reported from 106 LGAs in 19 states in the country and outbreak response and control activities are ongoing in the State to curtail the outbreak”, he added. In Zamfara, the state most affected by the outbreak of the Cerebro Spinal Meningitis, residents have been turning out in large numbers for a mass vaccination exercise against the disease. The Federal Government on Thursday kicked off the vaccination exercise in Zamfara State. The state governor, Abdulaziz Yari, earlier in the week came under fire from across the country for attributing the outbreak of the disease to God’s anger over the sins of Nigerians. The National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, and the NCDC, responded to the outbreak by beginning the vaccination exercise in Zamfara, in collaboration with the state government. A statement on Friday by NCDC stated that the campaign, which targets 300,000 persons aged 2 – 29 years, started on Thursday in the eight most affected local government areas in Zamfara State, and will continue until Sunday. It said more campaigns are planned in other states in the near future.

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