Meningitis claims 93 lives

Dr. Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira, Director General, Ghana Health Service (6)

Dr. Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira, Director General, Ghana Health Service (6)

A total of   93 deaths through 548 meningitis cases have been reported in affected districts in all the nine regions across the country as of last weekend.

Currently, the fatality rate of meningitis in the country stands at 16.9 per cent with 102 cases out of the 548 cases recorded, testing negative.

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira said this at a meeting held in Accra yesterday to update the press on the current state of the meningitis outbreak.

He stated that the Brong-Ahafo Region remained the most active with the meningitis outbreak as 18 districts had already been affected, with Tain and Jaman North districts crossing the epidemic threshold.

The Brong-Ahafo Region has, since the outbreak in December 2015, recorded the highest cases of 359 with 52 deaths, followed by the Northern Region, which had also recorded 62 cases with 15 deaths.

The Upper West Region has recorded 44 cases with nine deaths while the Ashanti Region has recorded 18 cases with eight deaths.

The Central Region was the only region which has not been affected with meningitis, while the Eastern Region has recorded four cases with three deaths.

The Upper East Region has recorded 47 cases with two deaths while the Volta and Western has recorded seven and two cases with one deaths each respectively.

Dr.  Denkyira, stated that deaths caused by meningitis infections had declined over the past few weeks with more cases being recorded in the affected districts.

That, he said, was as a result of effective case management practised by health professionals in affected regions and early reporting of suspected cases by persons in affected districts.

“We have moved from the situation where patients infected by the bacteria die within two to three hours on their arrival at the hospital,” Dr Denkyira said, adding that the Greater Accra Region has not recorded any case since the past two weeks.

He urged stakeholders to assist in bringing the epidemic in the two most affected districts under control.

Meningitis is the inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord (the meninges).

This inflammation is usually due to bacterial or viral infections, but may also result from parasitic infections and non-infectious agents like irritation from blood and cancer cells.

It is mainly transmitted through the inhalation of respiratory droplets, such as sneezes or coughs from infected individuals.

By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey   

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