The Jigawa Government says meningitis has killed one person and infected four others in four local government areas of the state.
Dr Muhammad Kainuwa, the Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Health, confirmed this to newsmen in Dutse on Thursday. Kainuwa said that five suspected cases of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis (CSM) were reported to the ministry.
He explained that two of the cases were recorded in Gwaram Local Government Area, while one each was reported from Kirikasamma, Kiyawa and Maigatari Local Government Areas. The permanent secretary added that a 13-year-old boy lost his life to the disease in one of the cases recorded in Gwaram.
According to him, the four infected persons had already been treated. “As of today, five suspected cases were reported in Kiyawa, Kirikasamma, Gwaram and Maigatari local government areas.
“In Gwaram, there were two cases where a 13-year-old boy lost his life. “And all cases reported were investigated using standard operation procedures and specimens were taken also where one was found to be positive,” he said.
Kainuwa also said that the ministry had contacted the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) for vaccines. “The major challenge is the non-availability of the vaccines.
“But as soon as the Federal Government made available the vaccines, we will immunise the affected communities,” said Kainuwa. He added that the ministry had mobilised its Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers in all the local government areas in order to combat the menace.
Besides, the permanent secretary said that as part of measures to prevent further spread of CSM, the ministry is also collaborating with the World Health Organisation (WHO) for proper documentation of the disease.
“We have also increased our surveillance in collaboration with WHO particularly in Maigatari which is along the Nigeria/Niger border. “The WHO is also providing more investigative kits, the state government has also reactivated the Port Health facility in Maigatari.
“Also, we’ve already commenced creating awareness across the state so that people will able to prevent themselves from getting infected and also quickly bring to hospital anyone that has the symptoms.
“We also use jingles in radio stations in the state so as to reach to the populace,” the permanent secretary said. Kainuwa, therefore, advised residents to take precautions against the disease and make sure that they do not sleep in unventilated and crowded rooms.