Ghana Health Service calls for heightened surveillance for meningitis in Upper East

The Upper East Region Regional Office of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has called on health facilities across the region to heighten surveillance for meningitis to check any possible outbreak of the disease.

The Service advised persons with acute onset of headache, fever with neck stiffness, vomiting, light or sound fright and convulsions to report promptly to any nearest health facility for testing and treatment.

Dr Samuel Kwabena Boakye-Boateng, the Regional Director of the GHS, who made the call, disclosed that the region had eight suspected cases of meningitis from six districts, but after laboratory investigations, the results turned out negative.

He urged members of the public to avoid overcrowding, open windows to improve ventilation, drink lots of water and other fluids copiously and promptly report to any nearest health facility if unwell.

Dr Boakye-Boateng made the call at the opening of the 2023 Regional Annual Performance Review meeting of the Health Directorate in Bolgatanga, on the theme: “Achieving Universal Health Coverage through Health System Strengthening.”

The meeting attracted municipal and district directors of the GHS, medical directors and superintendents, health service administrators, representatives from non-governmental organisations in health, the clergy and traditional rulers among other stakeholders in the region.

He reminded residents that the five regions of the north, including the Upper East, were on the meningitis belt, which exposed the populations to perennial risk of meningitis and advised the public to use face masks in congested environments.

“The greatest challenge the region faced this season was the absence of reagents and other logistics to quickly test samples from suspected cases of meningitis,” Dr Boakye-Boateng said.

“I am happy to inform you that the region has taken delivery of an allocation of varying quantities of all the necessary reagents and logistics needed.”

Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Regional Minister, who was the Guest of Honour, entreated health facilities to intensify public education on meningitis to avert any outbreak as recorded in the Upper West Region.

“Let us lead the communication to raise awareness, promote prevention, and ensure timely treatment of meningitis during this heat period,” he said.

He said the health profession required practitioners to pay attention to details, exhibit care, compassion and diligence at all times when attending to clients, adding: “Your attitude towards clients and patients is very critical for the attainment of universal health coverage.”

“Together, we can build a stronger, more resilient and robust health system that leaves no one behind, and the Regional Coordinating Council is ever committed to working with you to advance the cause of universal health coverage in the region and beyond.”

Source: GNA

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