Meningitis death toll in Upper West hits 44 with 303 cases

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One more person has died after contracting Meningitis related symptoms in Ghana’s Upper West Region.

This brings the region’s death toll to 44, a statement from the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council confirmed on Tuesday, May 5.

Thirty more persons have so far tested positive in the last two weeks sending the total number of confirmed cases in the region to 303.

“Nandom, Nadowli and Jirapa continue to record the majority of the cases,” the statement said adding, however, that: “none of the districts in the region is currently experiencing any epidemic.”

The Council further stressed that with intensified education, individuals with the disease now report to the nearest health facility for treatment and this has reduced the case fatalities associated with the disease.

Though laboratory investigation continues to show that majority of the cases in the region are caused by Neisseria Meningitides Sero Group X, the new strain, currently has no vaccine.

Lack of funds hindering fight against Meningitis —  Director

The country has deployed a number of health personnel to contain the spread of the disease but it appears, however, that lack of funding is stampeding the fight.

Dr. Osei Kuffuor Afreh, the immediate past Upper West Regional Director of Health Services said in an interview that the region for instance needs more support from the general public in order to fight the epidemic.

“The education is still a bit of a challenge because we don’t have adequate logistics, we are using the media, our partners like the Information Services Department and others but we are a little a bit tight with finances to be able to motivate all these supporting partners to really go into the communities.”

Ghana’s Meningitis case count

Seven regions have so far recorded Meningitis in Ghana.

The current development in the Upper West Region sends the number of deaths in the country to 57 with over 440 confirmed cases.

Though many believe government has not done enough to manage the situation, a Deputy Health Minister, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, said the disease is nowhere near an epidemic.

“Mr. Speaker, I am glad to report that the situation with CSM is under control. A visit to some affected municipalities in the Upper West Region revealed that currently, only four cases of meningitis are being attended to in the region. The disease scale shows that we are no more in the epidemic level. Sustaining this achievement requires continuous education, and that is ongoing,” the Deputy Minister said on the floor of Ghana’s Parliament.

By Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH 

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