Cerebro-Spinal Meningistis claims 14 lives in Upper East Region

At least 14 people have died out of Cerebro-Spinal Meningistis (CSM) infection in the Upper East Region between January and February 2012.

The Region has recorded 81 cases so far.

Out of the number, Bolgatanga recorded two cases, Bongo one case, Builsa 24 cases with four deaths; Garu recorded two cases while the Kasena-Nankana East recorded 30 cases with five deaths.

In addition, Kasena-Nankana West recorded 19 cases with four deaths while Talensi Nabdan recorded one case bringing the number of deaths to 14.

Health experts have concluded that from data collected so far there were indications that the disease had assumed epidemic stage. This thus calls for urgent attention from all players in the health sector to arrest the situation before it escalates.

As part of efforts to nib the disease in the bud the health experts have appealed to traditional leaders to regulate the number of funerals and traditional gathering performed during the dry seasons to reduce over crowding and ultimately prevent CSM disease.

This came to light during an emergency meeting of the Regional Epidemic Committee in Bolgatanga to solicit ideas on how to effectively manage the outbreak and spread of the epidemic.

Mr. Thomas Abachia, Regional Surveillance Officer at the Ghana Health Service noted that the cases were recorded between January 1 and February 19 and said majority of the deaths were reported in the Builsa and Kasena-Nankana East and West districts.

He advised the public against administering drugs on the treatment of CSM and said they should rather report to the nearest health facility anytime signs of the disease occurred.

He mentioned severe fever, intense headache, stiffness of the neck, body weakness and joint pains, breathing difficulty, convulsion, diarrhea and restlessness in children as some of the signs and symptoms of the CSM.

Mr Abachia said effective measures had been put in place to contain the situation, adding that A and C vaccines for CSM have been deployed to the various districts to better manage the situation.

Mr James Akpabli, Deputy Regional Health Director in charge of Public Health indicated that available data revealed that the region had gotten to an epidemic stage, adding that there was urgent need to get more vaccines and drugs to treat the CSM W135 strain.

He noted that CSM was life threatening and as such reporting early for treatment was important to saving lives.

CSM, he said, occurred mostly during the dry season between November and May, adding that sleeping in well ventilated rooms, avoiding over crowding, covering nose when sneezing and visiting health centres for immunization were ways the disease could be prevented.

Source: GNA

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