Meningitis Epidemic Technically Over

From left, Dr. Franklin Aseidu-Bekoe, head of disease surveillance at GHS, Dr. Ebenezer Appiah Denkyirah, Director General GHS, Dr. Afisa Zakariah,  Chief Director MoH, Alex Segbefia, Dr. Owen Laws Kaluwa WHO country representative with other dignitaries at the event.

The outbreak of meningitis in the country is technically over, the Minister of Health, Alex Segbefia has stated.

Mr. Segbefia said the nine districts that reached the epidemic phase of the disease have all responded adequately to interventions and have come out of it.

“The six districts in the Brong-Ahafo region and three in the Upper West region which reached the epidemic phase have all come out of the epidemic phase. As at today, there is no district in epidemic phase,” he said.

Explaining further, he said an epidemic occurs when reported cases of the disease goes beyond the threshold of 10 reported cases within a period of seven days however he said no district has reached that threshold within the last four weeks.

“No one has died of meningitis for the past four weeks and currently no district is in the epidemic phase,” he affirmed.

He was speaking at the Ghana Medical and Dental Council review meeting in Accra, to take stock of the council’s performance and projections for the year.

Painting the picture of the outbreak to journalist, the sector Minister said as at 13th April, 2016,59 districts from nine regions have reported cases of meningitis since the beginning of the year.

“Cumulatively, 2,184 suspected cases of meningitis were confirmed and out of these figures, there were 93 deaths,” he said.

He also indicated that the health sector together with its partners undertook multiple response actions and interventions that were required to contain the outbreak and bring it to a halt.

He said the major pillars for interventions included enhanced surveillance, improves case management, social mobilization as well as risk communication, vaccination and coordination.

“We conducted reactive vaccination campaign and vaccinated 200,000 people against types A, C and W Meningoccocal meningitis in three districts of the Upper West region- Jairapa, Nadowli and Nandom districts,” he said.

He said the next actions by the health sector are to enhance laboratory and surveillance capacity development of health staff and early detection and rapid response to meningitis and other public health risks.

He also expressed his gratitude to health staff and partners in health who supported the Ministry during the epidemic.

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Caption: from left, Dr. Franklin Aseidu-Bekoe, head of disease surveillance at GHS, Dr. Ebenezer Appiah Denkyirah, Director General GHS, Dr. Afisa Zakariah,  Chief Director MoH, Alex Segbefia, Dr. Owen Laws Kaluwa WHO country representative with other dignitaries at the event.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

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