Meningitis eruption leaves scores dead in Nigeria


Meningitis hard hit Nigeria. Photo by medindia

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
Nigeria Bureau
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – AN outbreak of meningitis has left at least 124 people dead in Nigeria over the past six months.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has documented the deaths from 1 686 suspected cases between October 1, 2002 and April 16 this year. Some 532 cases have been confirmed.

WHO lamented that insecurity, particularly in northeast Nigeria, affects vaccination coverage, especially in areas controlled by non-state armed groups.

These groups included Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), both radical Islamist groups.

“At the national level, immunisation coverage remains suboptimal at 50 percent as of 2021,” said an official from WHO.

Some 22 states, out of 36 administrative states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) – Abuja, have confirmed outbreaks.

Males account for 57 percent of cases.

The highest proportion of reported cases is among children aged 1 to 15 years.

Jigawa, the northern state accounts for 74 percent of all suspected cases.

There have been 66 deaths in that state.

Meningitis is a serious infection of the meninges, the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.

Many different pathogens including bacteria, fungi or viruses cause the disease.

Northern Nigeria falls in the extended meningitis belt of sub-Saharan Africa, stretching from Senegal to Ethiopia.

– CAJ News









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