MENINGITIS has killed 56 persons in Nigeria between January and October 5, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed Wednesday night.
In a statement, the Centre said the deaths occurred from 961 suspected cases.
The Centre said the suspected cases and deaths were logged from 159 local government areas in 32 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) is an epidemic-prone disease with cases reported all-year round in Nigeria.
The highest burden occurs in Africa’s ‘Meningitis Belt’ south of the Sahara Desert.
In Nigeria, the belt includes all 19 northern states, the FCT and some southern states.
In its statement, the Centre restated its commitment to the global goal of defeating the disease by 2030.
The Centre said it has an active National CSM Technical Working Group that had worked with partners and stakeholders to develop guidelines, checklists, and standard operating procedures for meningitis response.
“We are also working on enhancing meningitis surveillance at the subnational level, especially in high-burden states. Furthermore, with the support of partners, a National CSM epidemic preparedness & response plan has been developed.
“Currently, there is a network of 29 public laboratories with the capacity to diagnose CSM across the country. We continue to render technical support for state planning and capacity building to states to support the prevention and control of meningitis.”
It noted that with significant progress in surveillance, diagnostic capacity and vaccine development over the last few years, CSM remained a priority disease and ever-present public health threat in several countries worldwide, with frequent epidemics that present a challenge for people, health systems, economies, and societies.
“To this end, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), on behalf of Nigeria, joined the global community to launch the global roadmap to defeat meningitis by 2030. The Defeating Meningitis by 2030 Global Roadmap was approved by the World Health Assembly in November 2020.
“Alignment and local translation of this roadmap are especially critical for Nigeria where meningitis remains one of many often-concurrent public health challenges.”
According to the NCDC, the roadmap sets a comprehensive vision for 2030, ‘Towards a world free of meningitis’, with three strategic goals:
- eliminate epidemics of bacterial meningitis;
- reduce cases of vaccine-preventable bacterial meningitis by 50 per cent and deaths by 70 per cent; and
- reduce disability and improve quality of life after meningitis infection of any cause.
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