Nigeria Meningitis Epidemic: Death toll rises to 328 as health ministry advises citizens

Vaccination for Meningitis [Photo Credit: SundiataPost]
Vaccination for Meningitis [Photo Credit: SundiataPost]

The Federal Ministry of Health in response to the current cerebrospinal meningitis outbreak across some states in the country has issued a public advisory note on how to curtail the spread of the disease and advised Nigerians to remain calm as the ministry is working to put an end to the epidemic.

The ministry also said 328 deaths have been recorded so far.

A press statement signed by Boade Akinola, Director Media and Public Relations released on Friday, said the current outbreak of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis, CSM, has spread across the country, mostly affecting states in the part of Nigeria which fall within the African Meningitis Belt.

The situation report from the ministry as at Friday, March 31, show that 90 local government areas in 16 states of the federation have so far been affected including Zamfara, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Nasarawa, Jigawa, FCT, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe, Osun, Cross Rivers, Lagos and Plateau.

The epidemic is not unique to Nigeria, the ministry said, with other neighbouring West African countries like Niger, Chad, Cameroun, Togo and Burkina Faso are facing similar outbreak.


According to statistics from the federal health ministry, 2524 people have been affected across the states, 131 samples confirmed in the laboratory with majority as meningitides type C, and 328 deaths recorded so far.

The outbreak started in Zamfara State in November, 2016.‎ The ministry has, however, advised Nigerians to remain calm as the disease is preventable and curable if presented early.

“We advise Nigerians to continue abiding by health advice which will be issued periodically as feed back of the situation will be given to the public”, it stated.

Some of the health advice given for prevention are avoidance of overcrowding, sleep in well ventilated places, avoidance of close and prolonged contact with cases, proper disposal of respiratory and throat secretions, strict observance of hand hygiene, reduce hand shaking, kissing, sharing utensils or medical intervention such as mouth resuscitation.

Self medication should also be avoided and relevant stereotype vaccination for meningococcal should be taken. It is also important for individuals to acquaint themselves with basic knowledge of CSM in order to prevent transmission.

Mrs. Akinola said people should seek early treatment as all secondary and tertiary public health facilities have been directed to provide free treatment to all CSM patients.

“Although the cumulative number of people and locations affected may continue to increase, the actual rate of increase has begun to decline in some states indicating that the end to the epidemic is in sight,” she added.


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    With 328 people death, the ministry advices us to” keep calm”. This smacks of insensitivity and lack of value for human lives. If not they would have sympathized with the bereaved families first of all and then find solutions to their failure to curb this outbreak. A “preventable and curable” disease to wipe out 328 people in days is a BIG SHME to the federal and state ministries of health and a shame our stinking leaders who have stolen our collective wealth away which would have been used to provide good education and medical facilities to the citizens.

    • MilitaryPolice01

      Its a shame

  • Bimbo.

    The ministry needs to publish the symptoms of the disease so the general public will know when to seek appropriate medical help.

  • thusspokez

    When is Buhari going to sack his grossly incompetent minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole? Is it after millions of Nigerians have died as a result by these various outbreaks of diseases?

    Lassa fever outbreak (August 2015) rages on and still killing Nigerians unabated. Polio surge from 2015 despite falling over many years prior — with the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. And now comes the current meningitis outbreak.

    Nigerians should thank their God that the grossly incompetent Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole was not their minister of Health during the Ebola outbreak. If he was, millions of Nigerians would have died due to gross incompetence.

    • Isi Agwo

      Typical of Buhari worshipers: passing the buck from the incompetent illiterate table. The question is: when will Buhari RESIGN?

      • thusspokez

        Just read your comment again. Some of you posters on Nigerian websites should be patients in psychiatric hospitals because of your mental defects. Only you knows how your brain works — certainly not the way normal brains work.

  • Otile

    Until Imam Buhari goes away darkness will continue hovering over one Nigeria. Allah ba mu lafia.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    Every civilze nation, around the world,ensure that their infants,youths and children as well as adults are well protected from common viruses by providing immunization drugs to all our infants,children and elders nationwide.Any nation that lack adequate care for its teaming citizens especially infants and children is a failed nation that can stand among the civlze comity of nations.The minister of health, appears to be incompetent and inactive as this is the first time i am hearing the name of Professor Isaac Folorunsho, in the news.

  • Ibukun Bandele