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Meningitis: FG to hold emergency meeting with WHO

Cerebrospinal Meningitis (Cerebral Spinal Meningitis (CSM) is most often caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitides. Bacterial meningitis is an infection of the meninges, the thin covering of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of the disease include stiff neck, high fever, rash, headache, vomiting, and confusion.)

The Federal Government has arranged an emergency meeting between stakeholders in the health sector and the World Health Organisation (WHO), following the outbreak of Cerebrospinal Meningitis in five States.

The meeting is to secure the approval of additional vaccines in order to curb the spread of the disease.

This was contained in a statement released on Saturday, by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole and signed by the Director of Press and Public Relations in the Health Ministry, Boade Akinola.

He revealed that the FG has already received 1.3million doses of meningococcal vaccines from WHO, which will be used in Zamfara and Katsina States.

“By next Tuesday, there will be a meeting with the International Review Group of WHO, where request for additional vaccines shall be approved, as part of practical and medically certified efforts to stem this ugly incidence.

“Through our initiatives, we have secured 500,000 doses of the meningococcal vaccines from WHO which will be used in Zamfara and Katsina States and additional 800,000 units from the British government,” he said.

Adewole alsoexpressed optimism in the ability of the FG to curtail the trend, adding that “328 deaths associated with Meningitis have been recorded since November 2016.

“We have started working with all the affected states in specific areas of collaboration on massive awareness and sensitization, laboratory investigation and analysis, proper documentation and disease surveillance techniques through the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control and National Primary Health Care Development Authority who have been of tremendous support since the outbreak.

“We are in constant discussion with WHO, UNICEF, E-health Africa and other international health agencies for supplies of vaccines and injections. Even with the tunnels of accomplishment made, we are not relenting on all the progress made, as we have been assured of millions of vaccine doses through other notable and international donor agencies.

“Unfortunately, Nigeria had always been bedevilled with the stereotype A in years past but this new strain of the bacterial disease, Meningitis Stereotype C which the vaccine is not commercially available in required quantities and can only be shipped to the country by WHO only if laboratory investigation confirms the existence of the strain type C,” the Minister said.

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