The Meningitis epidemic currently ravaging the Northern parts of the Country has surfaced in Warri and Asaba Axis of Delta State but under control according to Health authorities in the State.
Disclosing the official situation of the disease in Delta State, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge while briefing the Press on Thursday, April 13, 2017, said that there is no call for alarm as the reported cases in state are currently under control and not an out break as been reported by some sections of the media.
Dr. Azinge stated that just three cases of Meningitis have been reported in the state with two of the patients already treated and discharged while the other case is undergoing surveillance. He revealed that the Meningitis situation in the state is the ‘Type C’ case.
In his words, “Three cases of suspected Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) have been reported in Delta State so far. Two in FMC Asaba and one at Central Hospital Warri. Of the two at FMC, Asaba, one has been confirmed as caused by Neisseria meningitis, the organism that is usually associated with meningitis outbreaks. The second case is yet to be confirmed because of certain complications the patient has.”
“The case in Warri was confirmed to have been caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae. This organism is hardly associated with outbreaks. The unconfirmed case in Asaba and the case in Warri responded satisfactorily to treatment and have been discharged home. Currently there is only one case being managed at FMC, Asaba”. the commissioner added.
On why the reported cases in Delta state is not an out break situation, Dr. Azinge reiterated the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of an out break stating that the disease must be reported in a measure of 5 cases for every 100, 000 persons in a week. “However, we are not going to wait for their definition before we treat our population,” he harped.
On the preparedness of the Health Ministry in tackling this disease, Dr. Azinge assured that the Ministry through its Rapid Response Team (RRT) has been coordinating the State’s response to contain the spread of the disease.
He added that “arrangements have been concluded with Pediatrics Departments of Central hospitals Warri, DELSUTH Oghara and FMC Asaba to send experienced Medical 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.”
He stressed that Meningitis is both preventable and curable and there was no need for fears as the Vaccines needed to tackle this disease will be received shortly and spread across the state for easy access to reported cases and preventive use.
Being a bacteria disease which is also air borne, the commissioner advised Deltans to maintain good hygiene and be cautions just like in the days of the Ebola and Lassa Fever situations. He also called for vigilance in spotting the signs and symptoms and making early reports to the hospitals for swift treatment.