FG Reports Meningitis Outbreak in Jigawa

•Declares more cases of Diphtheria likely

•Says over 65 million Nigerians received COVID-19 vaccines

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The federal government has alerted Nigerians on the rising cases of Cerebrospinal meningitis in Jigawa state.

It disclosed that as at yesterday, preliminary reports indicated a total of 117 suspected cases and 12 confirmed cases.

Speaking at the bi-monthly Ministerial Press briefing organised by the Federal Ministry in Abuja, the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Ifedayo Adetiba said the Centre has deployed a national Response Team to support Jigawa state’s response to the outbreak.

He also said the state have been provided with items to deal with the disease outbreak.

The NCDC boss who was represented by a Director of Special Services at the centre, Dr. Prescilla Ibekwe said: “We have been notified of rising cases of suspected CSM in Jigawa state. Preliminary reports are of 117 suspected and 12 confirmed cases, with a CFR of 27 per cent from epidemic week 49, 2022 and epidemic week 2 of 2023.

“The NCDC has deployed a national RRT to support Jigawa State’s response to the outbreak. We have provided commodities also.

“On the other hand, due to proximity of Jigawa to Yobe and Katsina States, we have also deployed RRT members to Yobe and Katsina States to assess, improve on the level of preparedness and to conduct active CSM case finding for early detection if cases already exist.”

The NCDC also gave updates on the spread of Diphtheria, saying there has been an increasing number of infection across the country

It said: “An increasing number of Diphtheria, a serious bacterial infection that affects the nose, throat and sometimes, skin of an individual, has been observed in the country with attendant mortalities.”

He said Nigeria collaborated with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to organise a 5-day workshop on enhancing laboratory diagnosis of diphtheria in Nigeria for laboratory scientists working in NCDC’s National Reference Laboratories and its lab network (this was planned before cases were reported as part of preparedness).

In the same vein, the NCDC boss said the Centre had written to all states Health Commissioners to institute immediate and necessary public health measures for timely detection and response to diphtheria at state level

To reduce the risk of diphtheria, the NCDC said it published a public health advisory, accessible on our website, which educates Nigerians on risk factors and offers advice, including;

It urged parents to ensure that their children are fully vaccinated against diphtheria with 3 doses of the pentavalent vaccine “Healthcare workers should maintain a high index of suspicion for diphtheria

Individuals with signs and symptoms suggestive of diphtheria should isolate themselves and notify the LGA, DSNO or the NCDC through our toll-free line (6232).

According to the NCDC cases Diphtheria have been reported to NCDC from Kano, Lagos Yobe and Osun States.

It explained that in addition to clinically suspected cases, there have been laboratory-confirmed cases, adding that the NCDC was working with state Ministries of Health and partners to enhance surveillance and response to the outbreak.

“This includes keeping the public informed on staying safe at home and in their communities “Given the sub-optimal coverage for the third dose of the diphtheria containing pentavalent vaccine (54% – 2021) in the country, we expect more cases from more states,” he said.

While giving its update on COVID-19 vaccination coverage, the Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib said: “As at 20th January, 2023, Nigeria has fully vaccinated 65,176,784 (56.2%) eligible persons with the vaccine; while 77,070,988 (66.4%) eligible persons have taken at least one dose of the vaccine.”

 Shuaib who was represented by Dr. Garba Bulama said a total of 10,390,911 persons received booster jabs.

He said there was progressive increase in the number of persons receiving booster doses.

Shuaib said that 13 states have so far achieved the 70 per cent and above full vaccination of their eligible population.

These states include: Nasarawa, Jigawa, Kaduna, Osun, kano, Adamawa, Gombe, Plateau, Kwara, Ekiti, Sokoto, Kebbi and Yobe states. Seven (7) states (Zamfara, Imo, Oyo, Borno, Niger, Enugu, Bauchi) plus the federal Capital Territory (FCT) have achieved between ≥40% and <70% coverage.

According to him, the remaining 16 low-performing states with less than 40% coverage include: Katsina, Cross River, Ogun, Abia, Anambra, Benue, Edo, Lagos, Taraba, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Kogi, Rivers and Ondo states.

“As at today, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Osun and Kano still top the rest of the states with eligible population fully vaccinated with COVID-19 Vaccines. The last 5 least performing states include Rivers, Bayelsa, Ondo, Kogi and Ebonyi.

“The last seven states with less than 20 per cent full vaccination coverage include: Akwa Ibom, Delta, Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Kogi, Rivers and Ondo,” he said.

Related Articles