We do not have vaccine bacteria causing meningitis – GHS

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The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has indicated there is no vaccine for the bacteria causing meningitis in the Northern regions of the country.

The GHS has therefore encouraged the public especially those in the Upper West region to report cases of meningitis early for better health outcomes.

A statement signed by GHS Director-General, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said the current outbreak in the Upper West Region is caused mainly by a new strain of bacteria called Neisseria meningitides serotype X which has no vaccine as well as streptococcus pneumonia, which it said has an average 40 per cent fatality rate.

“Though there is no vaccine for the strain causing this current outbreak, effective treatment is available,” the GHS Director-General, assured.

He said among other things, the GHS has provided 7,500 vials of ceftriaxone, the appropriate antibiotic, for management of meningitis.

“Also, rapid response teams have been deployed to the various health facilities and communities to undertake case search and support case management.

The Head of Disease Control is leading a team of experts to the Upper West region to provide technical assistance and support the region to intensify its response, ” he added.

Dr. Aboagye said public education on symptoms and signs as well as the need to report suspected cases early has been intensified in the region.

Meningitis is an acute febrile illness which affects the brain and spinal cord.

It is characterised by fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, neck stiffness, altered consciousness, convulsion, seizures and coma.

The disease is endemic in the northern part of Ghana which falls within the meningitis belt of Africa.

About 409 persons have since February this year contracted the life-threatening disease in the five northern regions with 258 being recorded from the Upper West Region.

As at April 15, 40 deaths representing a 15 per cent fatality rate, has been recorded.

The GHS underscored the need for people to ensure early reporting of meningitis cases for “initiation of treatment that can significantly improve outcome and improve survival rate”.

It also assured the people in the affected regions, particularly those in the Upper West region that health professionals “remain committed to bringing this outbreak under control”.

Source: dailyguidenetwork