10 things you should know about meningitis disease

The disease has spread to 16 states in the country with many deaths being recorded in the five most affected states.

Nigeria lies in the so-called "meningitis belt" of sub-Saharan Africa, stretching from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east, where outbreaks of the disease are a regular occurence

Nigeria lies in the so-called “meningitis belt” of sub-Saharan Africa, stretching from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east, where outbreaks of the disease are a regular occurence

(AFP/File)

Nigeria is currently battling an outbreak of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis ‘C’.

The disease has spread to 16 states in the country with many deaths being recorded in the five most affected states.

Below are 10 things you should know about the outbreak:

  1. 336 people have died of the disease in 16 states across Nigeria.

  2. The outbreak started in Zamfara State, which has now recorded more than 200 deaths.

  3. As at March 31, there were 2,524 infections recorded in 90 Local Government Areas in the affected states.

  4. The Meningitis ‘C’ strain is rare so only limited doses of the necessary drugs are available.

  5. A dose of the drug can cost up to $50 which is about N18,000, Nigeria’s current minimum wage.

  6. Nigeria needs $1.1bn to vaccinate 22 million persons against the disease.

  7. The five most affected states are Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi and Niger.

  8. The disease is spread when contact is made with throat secretions from an infected person. Most of the bacteria is spread through close personal contact, such as coughing, sneezing, and kissing.

  9. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has acquired 500,000 doses of the necessary drugs and is expecting 823,000 more doses for treatment of affected persons.

  10. The Nigerian Senate has urged the Federal Ministry of Health to make meningitis treatment free in public hospitals across the country.

Meanwhile, Zamfara state governor, Abdulaziz Yari has said that God sent the outbreak on Nigerians to punish them for the sin of fornication.

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