African Press Association

Nigeria anti-meningitis drive exceeds expectations

From AHMED OBAFEMI in Maiduguri, Nigeria
MAIDUGURI, (CAJ News) – MORE than 136 000 people have been vaccinated against meningitis in northeast Nigeria to curb the spread of the disease that has killed over 1 000 people in the country.
The vaccination campaign in the Yobe State reached people aged between 2 to 29 years.
The World Health Organisation, which provided technical and financial support, said the success exceeded expectations.
“The coverage is more than the expected number of people targeted in the campaign,” said a spokesperson.
Thousands of people including women and children in northern Nigeria have
been affected by the meningitis C outbreak in the last six months contributing to what public health experts consider the largest in Nigeria since 2008.
In Yobe , 405 suspected cases of meningitis, including 40 deaths, were reported from 14 Local Government Areas as at May 22.
Countrywide, as of May 25, a total of 14 298 cases with 1 148 deaths had been reported.
Yobe Director of Public Health, Dr Muhammed Lawan Gana, applauded WHO’s response to detect, investigate and confirm reported cases in the area.
“Without WHO’s extensive surveillance, rapid detection rate and response to outbreaks of meningitis, polio, measles and other communicable diseases in Yobe state, the health situation of our people could be worse,” said Gana.
CAJ News