May 21, 2020

Minister of Health Kwaku Agyeman Manu briefing Parliament on Tuesday 19th May 2020 disclosed that the country has recorded three hundred and fifteen (315) cases of cerebral spinal meningitis (CSM) with forty-five (45) deaths.

According to him he presented to the House few weeks ago the situation with CSM when the country had recorded two hundred and seventy-three (273) cases in the Upper West Region and forty-three (43) deaths unfortunately.

He said majority of the cases had been caused by Neiserria Meningitidis (NM) Sero X of which there is no vaccine.

“Mr. Speaker in fact approximately sixty percent (60%) of the samples analyzed were NM a strain with no vaccine globally as at now due to its rarity at causing epidemics.

We have unfortunately recorded two more deaths since the last count two weeks ago, bringing the total numbers of deaths to forty-five (45) deaths. No death was recorded in both week 19 and 20”.

Again, Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago Jirapa Municipality recorded eight (8) cases within a defined window, this made the Municipality cross the alert as well as the epidemic line. Such episodic spikes trigger further strengthening of already activated public health activities in order to get hold on the trajectory of the disease.

Consequently, the number of recorded cases at the end of week 20, 17th May 2020 fell to 2 in Jirapa Municipality with Nadowli, Lawra and Nandom recording a case each. In all five (5) active cases are being managed in the Upper West Region with three patients on admission, all in a stable condition.

The Health Minister further told the House that the Regional Health emergency team together with the Municipal and District Health emergency team are still at work meeting weekly coordinating efforts of staff and community officers as well as sensitizing people on the need to report early to the clinic at the slightest sign of unwellness CSM.

Mr. Speaker, it is an endemic condition, our efforts would continue to be working at preventing outbreaks and in the unfortunate situation of an outbreak, coordinate the output of all stakeholders to speedily arrest the situation as has happened by the close of week 20, he stated.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/