Zamfara, the worst-hit state in the just-ended outbreak of cerebrospinal meningitis, says it has learnt lessons and is 90% ready to combat a future outbreak, after training and mobilizing health workers in anticipation. Executive secretary of Zamfara State Primary Health Care, Yusuf Marafa, said, “We have learnt our lesson and have taken measures because we don’t want it to happen [again]. I can’t say we are 100% ready but I can say we are above 90% ready.” He was speaking in Zamfara at the start of media visit by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to assess the impact of the epidemic on affected populations and take lessons from Nigeria’s response to it. A total 14,518 suspected cases of meningitis were reported from 25 states during the outbreak, and 1,166 died before NCDC declared it over in June. “We have strengthened our routine immunization and very fortunately we are going to review our basket fund which only Zamfara state has, which is being contributed by local government chairmen, state government and even partners every month, just to carry out routine immunization,” said Marafa. “Instead of 666 health facilities that are provided with routine immunization now, we want to expand it 700. So we have a plan to cover the whole state.

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