Republic Of Niger Launches Campaign To Protect Six Million Children From Meningitis



The Republic of Niger on Tuesday launched a campaign to vaccinate six million children against meningitis, which killed nearly 200 people two years ago.

Children aged between one and seven years will be immunised over the week-long nationwide programme, Health Minister Idi Illiassou said.

He called on parents to “massively” support the effort.

The two-billion-CFA-franc (three-million-euro, $3.4-million) cost is being mainly borne by the World Health Organization (WHO), GAVI Alliance, Rotary International and the UN children’s fund, Unicef.

Niger 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 occurrence.

The vaccination programme in Niger is against meningitis A, one of the six groups of meningitis bacteria that can cause epidemics.

The disease is transmitted between people through coughs and sneezes, close contact and cramped living conditions.

The illness causes acute inflammation of the outer layers of the brain and spinal cord, with the most common symptoms being fever, headache and neck stiffness.

Cross River Govt To Produce Vaccines For Meningitis, Hepatitis

Ayade Hopeful Nigeria Will Overcome Challenges
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The Cross River State Government has revealed plans to begin production of Meningitis, Typhoid and Hepatitis vaccines to reduce importation of these vaccines from outside the country.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Inyang Asibong told journalists on Monday in Calabar the Cross River State Capital.

According to Dr Asibong, the ongoing project when completed will help make the vaccines available across the country and also for exportation outside the country.

She added this effort will help in developing the health sector which will ensure healthy living across the board.

The Managing Director of the factory where these vaccines will be produced, Farhan Ahmade Khan, disclosed that the factory will run in April, and will employ about 200 workers for the production section.

FG Declares Nigeria Meningitis Free

Isaac AdewoleThe Federal Government has officially declared Nigeria free from the latest ‘type c’ deadly Cero Spinal Meningitis (CSM) which has claimed thousands of lives since the outbreak in 2016.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Oyewole disclosed this to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council weekly meeting in Abuja.

He said that there has been no polio case recorded for the year 2017 while cholera outbreak in Kwara State has fizzled out.

Similarly, the minister announced an approval by the Council to include members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) into the National Health Insurance Scheme.

He said the approval would guarantee the corps members access to quality healthcare and prevent unnecessary deaths in the country.

Meningitis Kills Eight In Kaduna – Health Commissioner

kaduna stateAt least eight people have died from cerebrospinal meningitis following an outbreak of the disease in four local government areas of Kaduna State.

This was confirmed to journalists on Monday by the state Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Paul Dogo.

Dogo said the eight deaths were recorded from 11 confirmed cases of the disease as of May 5, 2017.

He also said that the state recorded 68 suspected cases in 15 local government areas, but 11 cases were confirmed to be cerebrospinal meningitis and eight of those affected died.

He listed the affected local government areas to include Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Igabi, and Giwa.

Dr. Dogo, while stating that proactive steps were being taken to curtail further spread of the disease, announced that relevant personnel of the ministry are handling procurement of medical consumables to health facilities for case management.

Meningitis: UNICEF Places Ekiti On Surveillance

Libya Identified As Epicenter For Migrant Child AbuseThe United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has placed Ekiti state on Surveillance to prevent an outbreak of meningitis which has killed over 400 persons in some northern states.

The international organisation said although there is no reported case of the outbreak in Ekiti, the organisation is working with experts in the Ministry of Health on the need to be alert.

The UNICEF Representative in Ekiti, Mr Abiodun Olagunju, said this on Thursday, in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, during a stakeholders’ meeting held to discuss the second phase of polio vaccination in the state.

Olagunju said: “Though Ekiti is not within the meningitis belt, we are keeping watch because someone can bring it from the meningitis endemic state to Ekiti.

“UNICEF and World Health Organisation (WHO), are not fond of folding their arms and allowing communicable diseases ravage the land before taking actions. This is not medically wise.

“The target for the polio vaccination which will be administered for children below age five is 100 per cent in Ekiti. We recorded 87 during the first phase .

“Let me also enlighten our people that the vaccines for polio, measles, meningitis, Hepatitis B, are available in all the health centres in Ekiti, so we are on ground to fight communicable diseases to safeguard the health of our people”, he added.

Giving the overview of the first phase of the anti-polio campaign held in the state, the State Immunization Officer, Mrs Christianah Ajimati, said a total of 579,704 children were immunized with the polio vaccine during the exercise held in March, 2017 out of the projected 667,145.

She said Emure Local Government had the highest turnout of children for the exercise, with 95 per cent, while the least amount, with about 66 per cent, was recorded in Ekiti West.

The expert also noted that the second phase of the fight against polio would kick off between May 6 and 9, 2017, in order for Nigeria to maintain her polio-free status conferred by the United Nations.

Ajimati expressed delight that the country, particularly Ekiti state, has overcome the barrier of indigenous beliefs that had been considered a great impediment, preventing many of the parents from presenting their children for the oral vaccine.

“We want to commend our donor agencies and Ekiti State government for the release of funds. Timely release of funds and kits really helped this exercise.

“Nigeria has been listed a polio-free nation and we should not recede backward on the ladder by allowing our children to be killed by polio and other preventable diseases,” he urged.

Northern State Governors, Monarchs Meet Over Meningitis Outbreak

Northern State Governors, Monarchs Meet Over Meningitis OutbreakAn emergency meeting of State Governors and traditional rulers of the 19 northern states of the country has been held in Kaduna State.

The meeting was convened on Tuesday to discuss ways of tackling the meningitis outbreak that has claimed over 400 lives across Nigeria, most of them from the region.

The meeting, which was organised by the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, and the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, seeks alternative ways of importing vaccines for the treatment of meningitis victims, and prevent further spread of the killer disease in the region.

Declaring the meeting open, the Sultan of Sokoto, who was represented by the Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris, called on the Federal and State governments to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to strengthen primary healthcare system in the country.

He said the traditional rulers would support government’s effort in ensuring that the people get the needed medical attention to contain the spread of the disease.

“The traditional rulers of Nigeria, in coordination with stakeholders, will do all that is humanly possible to assist in ensuring that our people and members of communities are given the appropriate medical attention promptly, to avoid the outbreak of meningitis.

“Let me use this opportunity to call on the Federal, State and Local governments to put all hands on deck to ensure that appropriate measures are taken, to give the necessary prevention by way of immunisation and preventive drugs against the bacteria, so that our members of communities will be protected adequately,” the monarch said.

Nasarawa Records 15 Cases Of Measles In Three LGAs

The Nasarawa State Government says it has recorded 15 cases of measles in three Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state, between January and April.

Briefing reporters in Lafia, the state’s capital, the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Daniel Iya, said the cases recorded are from Lafia, Keana and Awe LGAs.

He noted that the outbreak could be as a result of break in the chain of routine immunisation, which he said the State Rapid Response Team is already working out modalities to ascertain the cause of the outbreak.

“There has been a case of measles, and information we have received as at now is that it may be between January and now. There may have been cases of measles up to 15 in the state, but no recorded case of death,” he said.

The Commissioner hinted that measures have been put in place to strengthen routine immunisation, in order to curtail further spread of the disease.

On the outbreak of meningitis in some parts of the country, he said Nasarawa State has not recorded any case, adding that government has provided needed facilities in the case of an eventuality.

“I want to state categorically that we have not had any case reported, either suspected or confirmed, of Cerebrum Spinal Meningitis in Nasarawa State and we are doing our best to make sure that we continue to sensitise our community,” he said.

He advised the people of the state to avoid overcrowded environment, maintain personnel hygiene, and ensure that they sleep in well ventilated rooms to prevent contracting the disease.

Meningitis Outbreak: Borno Investigates Patient Down With Symptoms


Signs of Meningitis is manifesting on a patient in a government hospital in Askira Uba Local Government Area of Borno state.

The State Ministry of Health said even though the patient is stable, examinations are being conducted on the patient to ascertain the particular meningitis type.

The Ministry of Health Commissioner, Dr. Haruna Mshelia said the state has been on red alert even before the Uba case was reported.

“The state is conducting immunization with the meningitis ‘A’ vaccine in 10 newly liberated LGAS that were not fully captured during the main ‘A’ vaccination campaign in 2012/13, with 350, 000 already immunized while the immunization is still ongoing to cover all children that needs to be covered.” Mshelia stated.

Meanwhile, Askira Uba Local Government is not part of the 10 LGAS where the latest immunization is taking place.

“As we speak now we have a suspected case of meningitis in Askira Uba Local Government; investigation is ongoing to find out if its the usual ‘A’ type or the ‘C’ type”, the commissioner revealed.

Mshelia further said in order to ensure that the state is ready to respond to any outbreak, “Bearing in mind that we share borders with Niger Republic and the increased population movement and large concentration of IDP in camps, we have convened an emergency meeting with all health partners.”

Kaduna State Government Commissions Disease Control Centre

Gov-Ramalan-Yero1The Kaduna State Government has launched an Infectious Disease Control Centre (IDCC) as part of efforts to tackle the challenges of emerging and re-emerging diseases in the state.

The State Deputy Governor, Nuhu Bajoga, representing the Governor at the commissioning ceremony, said that Kaduna state is fully prepared and well positioned to tackle any disease outbreak in the state.

Mr Bajoga said the aim of setting up the centre is to ensure that those suffering from any communicable disease are isolated for proper treatment, in order not to transmit such ailments to the rest of the society as well as protecting the susceptible ones through routine immunization.

The Deputy Governor, while calling on the health personnel at the centre to treat their patients with dignity and compassion, assured the patients of best treatment and attention.

He also guaranteed those living very close to the Disease Control Centre of adequate safety, stating that the centre had been equipped in line with best international standard.

The Centre is expected to focus on communicable diseases such as meningitis, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Malaria, Tuberculosis, other neglected tropical diseases, emerging diseases, epidemics, and potential pandemics.

The Kaduna State Commissioner for Health, Dr Thot Dogo, said the Disease Control Centre would contain the spread of the infectious diseases.

He stated further that adequate safety measures had been put in place at the centre to ensure the safety of the health care providers.

A representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Mrs Charity Warigon, present at the event commended the State Government for setting up the centre.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 60 per cent of deaths in West Africa are as a result of communicable diseases, blamed on lack of trained laboratory technicians and facilities that hamper diagnosis.