Meningitis Outbreak: Death toll rises to five in Abuja

Meningitis vaccination used to illustrate the story [Photo Credit: communit.com]

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Primary Health Care Development Board on Thursday confirmed the death of yet another person due to Cerebrospinal Meningitis in the territory.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported on Wednesday that the board recorded four deaths on Tuesday in Durumi area of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).

The Executive Secretary of the board, Rilwanu Mohammed, told NAN in an interview in Abuja that another death from the disease occurred in Dakwa, a border village of Bwari Area Council and Niger state on Wednesday.

“The four suspected cases we have were all in Durumi I and II in AMAC while one confirmed case of a child that just happened yesterday (Wednesday) in Dakwa of Bwari area council.

“The four that died in Durumi showed all signs of meningitis but there was an autopsy carried out in the one at Dakwa and was confirmed to be meningitis at the University of Abuja Teaching hospital, Gwagwalada.

“We have so far immunised all residents of Durumi that are within the ages of one year and 29 years and we are going to condone off Dakwa area today (Thursday) for a similar vaccination,” he said.

According to him, the board had so far immunised 65,000 residents as against 70,000 targeted for vaccination against meningitis in FCT.

He said that since the disease broke out in Zamfara, Sokoto and Niger states, the board intensified effort to curtail its spread in the territory.

The Secretary disclosed that the board focused on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and barracks for the vaccination exercise because of their vulnerability.

Mr. Mohammed advised residents to avoid crowded places and ensure crossed ventilation in their homes to prevent the spread of the disease.

More than 200 people in different states have died from suspected Meningitis in the last weeks since the outbreak of the disease.

Meanwhile, Haruna Agwai, the Primary Health Care Coordinator of Kuje Area Council, says inadequate vaccines is hindering the progress of work at the ongoing immunisation of children against meningitis and polio in the area.

Mr. Agwai made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Kuje during the immunisation of children at the Primary Health Care Centre in the area.

“Inadequate vaccines, weather condition, inadequate funding, difficult terrain, vehicles and manpower are slowing down the process of immunisation in the area,’’ Mr. Agwai said.

He said that in spite the hindrance, “the health workers are vaccinating children on Oral Polio Vaccines (OPV) from the ages 0 to 59 months and meningitis from 1 to 29 years.’’

The coordinator said the essence of the current exercise was to immunise children against the recent outbreak of meningitis in some parts of the country.

“We are vaccinating the children and taking precautions against the outbreak of meningitis in some parts of the country.’’

He said about 7,763 children had so far been immunised out of about 17,000 children, representing 40 per cent.

Mr. Agwai commended some parents for cooperating with health workers for the progress of the exercise.

According to him, Kuje Area Council Administration is determined to ensure that children in the area are healthy.

He also praised the council’s health personnel,traditional rulers and families for their support.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the council has 10 electoral wards while some of its communities lack adequate primary healthcare centres.

(NAN)


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