BY DOYIN OJOSIPE, Abuja
The Federal Government yesterday announced the end of meningitis outbreak in Nigeria, adding that Emergency Operations Center(EOC) responding to the epidemic has been closed down.
A statement by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control(NCDC) noted that, “With the decline in Meningitis cases, the 2016/2017 Meningitis outbreak is over and the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) responding to the epidemic has been stepped down. The outbreak has been in constant decline for eight weeks and the affected States have recorded much fewer new cases.”
“In the last four weeks, no Local Government Area has reached outbreak alert threshold. By the 16th of June 2017 when the EOC was stepped down, a total of 14,518 suspected cases of meningitis were reported from 25 states, with 1,166 deaths, giving a case fatality rate of 8%,” it added.
The statement also revealed that the planning process to prevent future outbreaks and ensuring better preparedness for the next epidemic season has begun.
The statement reads in part,” Laboratory capacity has been improved with the recent operationalisation of the new National Reference Laboratory in Gaduwa, Abuja with support from the Federal Ministry of Health, the US CDC and the World Health Organisation. NCDC is also coordinating a network of laboratories across the country to improve case confirmation capacity. National guidelines towards responding to future outbreaks are being developed together with ongoing continuous awareness campaigns, keeping the general public informed. Workshops to improve preparedness are also being organised.”
“Reactive vaccination campaigns led by the NPHCDA were successfully conducted in Zamfara, Sokoto, Yobe and Katsina States. The state governments were fully engaged in conducting these campaigns to ensure that the vaccines reached the most at-risk population,” it noted