New strain of meningitis breaks out in Nigeria

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The Federal Government has deployed epidemiologists and vaccines to check the outbreak of a new strain of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis (CSM) in parts of the country. 

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole said on Thursday in Abuja that the new strain, which is not common in Nigeria, was brought in from Niger Republic.

He said that the new strain requires a different type of vaccine and a team of epidemiologists have been deployed to address the issue. The Minister said the outbreak of meningitis in Sokoto and Zamfara states were quite unfortunate and that the ministry was working very hard to handle the situation. 

“It has become an annual ritual under this administration; we would want to put an end to annual outbreak of meningitis in some of the northern states. 

“I have just spoken with the commissioner for health in Zamfara who is appreciative of what the Federal Ministry of Health has been doing through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control

“We have sent field epidemiologists; they are actually called disease detectives, to support them at the state level,’’ Adewole said.

The minister said that government have provided vaccines and would do even more to overcome the outbreak.

“What we know in public health is that there is always an outbreak, but what is uncertain is where and the type. We want to be ready at any time,’’ he said.

Adewole said he has scheduled a meeting with the commissioners of health from the Northern states to plan a way out of the meningitis outbreak in the country. He said all the states in northwest region are susceptible to the disease and the states would be treated equally when confronted by outbreaks such as this.

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Joan Obasi is a journalism intern working with HealthNewsNG.com in Lagos, Nigeria. She covers developments in the healthcare sector. She can be reached via joan@healthnewsng.com

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