Six more people have died from the outbreak of pneumococcal meningitis disease in the Techiman North and South Districts of the Brong Ahafo Region.
The disease which has so far recorded 21 cases and claimed nine lives in Tain, Wenchi and Bruohan in the Brong Ahafo Region, claimed its latest victims over the weekend when it spread to Techiman in the same region, bringing the death toll to 15 people.
Municipal Health Director for Techiman, Dr Damien Punguyire, who confirmed this, said the district has recorded 18 cases, out of which six people lost their lives.
He said health authorities in the district were investigating suspected cases, adding that the Ministry of Health (MoH) has also released some money to the region to help fight the disease.
Meanwhile, health officials in Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region have stepped up surveillance and monitoring following the death of six people from pneumococcal meningitis infections.
Deputy Minister of Health Dr Victor Bampoe has already met with the Epidemic Management Committee in Techiman to discuss ways of combating the outbreak and hinted that an amount of GH¢150,000 has been released to fight the disease.
Dr Bampoe also visited some of the meningitis-affected districts such as Tain, Wenchi and Techiman.
Dr Punguyire has, however, assured that the disease is under control.
“We have not reached an epidemic or an outbreak level. But we are recording cases that are moving towards an outbreak. We are going to communities where cases are coming from to follow up and ensure that there are no cases that are left and we are also asking people to report early when they discover any signs or symptoms of the ailment,” he told a local radio station.
The disease has also been recorded in the Northern Region. Dr Punguyire says medical supplies have been dispatched to the Brong Ahafo Region to ensure health workers make progress at controlling the disease.
Bacterial meningitis is contagious. The bacteria are spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions.
If you have close contact with a person who has viral meningitis, you may become infected with the virus that made that person sick. However, you are not likely to develop meningitis as a complication of the illness.
Signs and symptoms of meningitis include sudden onset of severe headache, fever, vomiting, neck stiffness and photophobia (dislike for light). Other symptoms include lethargy, coma and convulsions. In babies, there may be bulging of the anterior fontanelle (soft part of the bead).
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri