•4 cases recorded in Delta
From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The Cerebro Spinal Meningitis (CSM) has finally taken up residence in Abuja, with two fresh reported cases, according to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Primary Health Care Development Board.
Executive Secretary of the board, Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed said the two confirmed cases were in Abuja Municipal and Abaji Area councils.
Mohammed said result from the laboratory test, between Tuesday and Wednesday, had shown that the two victims were infected with type C of CSM. He explained that one of the victims in Nuku village of Abaji area council came from Sokoto State where it was alleged that one person had died of meningitis. He added that another six-year-old child in Garki, Area 8, Abuja, was also confirmed at the Jabi Federal Medical Centre, Abuja. According to him, these were the only confirmed cases FCT had recorded, so far, since the outbreak, adding that there were 10 suspected cases in the past where six persons died. The scribe said his agency had cordoned off the area where the two victims reside to immunise and sensitise residents against the disease.
Meanwhile, Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge, yesterday, disclosed that four persons have, so far, been infected with the disease. Before yesterday’s revelation, there were three patients suffering from the disease with one at the Central Hospital, Warri, and two at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba.
Azinge said the fourth suspected case was also at the FMC, Asaba. Flanked by his Information counterpart, Mr. Patrick Ukah, Azinge told newsmen that of the three cases in Asaba, one had been confirmed as caused by Neisseria meningitides, the organism associated with meningitis outbreak, while the two other cases were yet to be confirmed because of certain complications the patients had. “The case in Warri was confirmed to have been caused by streptococcus pneumonia, the organism hardly associated with outbreaks. The unconfirmed cases in Asaba and the case in Warri responded well to treatment and have been discharged. Currently, there are two cases being managed at FMC, Asaba,” he said.
According to him, Ministry of Health had been coordinating the state’s response to contain the spread of the disease by following up the remaining case at FMC, Asaba and in touch with the two discharged cases. He said the 25 local councils’ Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers (DSNOs) had been directed to intensify awareness creation on prevention and to heighten surveillance and reporting to guide policy decisions.
Besides, he said arrangements had been concluded with the Paediatrics Departments of Central Hospital, Warri, Delta State University Teaching Hospital (DELSUTH), Oghara and FMC, Asaba to send experienced doctors to carryout Lumbar Puncture and collect CSF samples for suspected cases of CSM and to update the skills of medical officers in various hospitals in this regard.
According to him, all the DSNOs have been directed that once they identify a suspected case of CSM, the case should be referred to the nearest Central Hospital or General Hospital where samples could be collected immediately and free treatment commenced.
Azinge said: “The public is being sensitised through the various media on the signs, symptoms and preventive measures of CSM. health workers are currently being sensitised on CSM. The council DSNOs have commenced active case search and border patrols in their various councils.
“Collaboration has been ongoing with DELSUTH, Hospitals Management Board (HMB), FMC, Asaba, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), World Health Organisation (WHO) and relevant professional associations as part of efforts to contain the spread of the disease.
“I wish to state clearly that there is no outbreak of CSM in Delta State. The public should remain calm as the disease -Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) – is both preventable and curable.”