Ghana: Contain the meningitis outbreak lets it claims more lives than COVID-19 – NGO to Gov’t

 Ghana: Contain the meningitis outbreak lets it claims more lives than COVID-19 – NGO to Gov’t

The Center for Policy Advocacy and Governance is warning the government to take steps to contain the meningitis outbreak in the Upper West Region of the country else the disease could claim more lives than the COVID-19.

According to CPAG in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Mr. Mumuni Believer Likpalmor and sighted by LoudSilenceRadio.com. “The Regional Minister of Upper West has declared that 258 people have contracted a rare type of the Cerebrospinal Meningitis (Sero type X), with 40 deaths in the last thirteen weeks.”

“The Upper and Northern Regions lie in the meningitis belt of sub-Sahara Africa with high temperatures coupled with dust, low humidity and ventilation amidst overcrowding throughout the year makes the region(s) susceptible to the disease.” – He said

“With this current type of meningitis outbreak (sero type X), 70% of people infected with the disease die because there is no known vaccine strain for the treatment just like COVID-19.”

Mr. Likpalmor bemoaned how government has completely shifted attention from this equally deadly diseases in this difficult times.
“Wearisomely, Government continue to organize pressers to brief the nation on Covid-19 but seemly pay low level of attention to this devastating outbreak whose case fatality is lethargic than Covid-19.”

Read his full statement:

The Center for Policy Advocacy and Governance write to draw Government’s attention to another rare public health crisis that has bedeviled the residents of Upper West region.
The Regional Minister of Upper West has declared that 258 people have contracted a rare type of the Cerebrospinal Meningitis (Sero type X), with 40 deaths in the last thirteen weeks.

The Upper and Northern Regions lie in the meningitis belt of sub-Sahara Africa with high temperatures coupled with dust, low humidity and ventilation amidst overcrowding throughout the year makes the region(s) susceptible to the disease.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the coverings of the brain and spinal cord which could be caused by bacterial, viral or fungal infections.

With this current type of meningitis outbreak (sero type X), 70% of people infected with the disease die because there is no known vaccine strain for the treatment just like COVID-19.
Worrisomely, Government continue to organize pressers to brief the nation on Covid-19 but seemly pay low level of attention to this devastating outbreak whose case fatality is lethargic than Covid-19.
We therefore call on government as a matter of urgency:

  1. Initiate an immediate sero type X Meningitis response plan and intensify surveillance for early reporting, detection and case management.
  2. Purchase and stock health facilities with appropriate antibiotics and IV fluids for the management of current cases, test kits and reagents for laboratory investigations.
  3. Prepare stimulus packages for front liners in this epidemic belt.
  4. Provide a safety social net for people whose lives have been hamstrung by this crisis.
  5. Supply at least a vehicle to each MMDA in the region since 80% of the deaths recorded are as a result of delays in reporting to the health facilities and for information dissemination
    In furtherance, persons infected with CSM are stigmatized as if they have contracted COVID19 due to similarities of symptoms.
    We therefore appeal to the media to dedicate part of their airtime to intensify public education and sensitization on the mode of transmission, signs and symptoms and preventive measures of the epidemic.
    In conclusion, we believe giving equal attention to both outbreaks would be a ceasing moment to kill two birds with one stone.
    Signed
    Mumuni Believer Likpalmor
    Executive Director, RECPAG
    Tel: ((+233) 0501062925)

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