Home » Meningitis: 532 Cases,124 Deaths in 6 Months in Nigeria

Meningitis: 532 Cases,124 Deaths in 6 Months in Nigeria

by John Ojewale
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Nigeria has reported 532 confirmed cases, including 124 deaths, out of 1,686 suspected cases of meningitis, with a case fatality rate of 7%. From 1 October 2022 to 16 April 2023, 81 local government areas in 22 states, including the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, reported cases.

This corresponds to the epidemiological situation in Nigeria on 27 April 2023, as published by the World Health Organization.

According to the report, men accounted for 57% of all suspected cases.

“The highest proportion of reported cases is among children aged 1 to 15. Jigawa state accounts for 74 percent (n = 1252) of all suspected cases, and this state borders the Zinder region in Niger, where a meningitis outbreak has been reported since October 2022.

“481 cerebrospinal fluid samples were collected from patients in 18 states. Of these samples, 247 tested positive for bacterial infection by PCR test. Among the positive cases, 226 (91 percent) were caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C (NmC). In contrast, 13 patients (5.4 percent) were caused by Streptococcus pneumonia and only one (0.4 percent) by Haemophilus influenza.

“For 232 samples, the result was negative, and the result is pending for two. However, in the last five weeks alone (epidemiological weeks 11-15), 41 out of 140 samples tested (29 percent) were positive for NmC. The confirmed cases were reported from eight states, including Jigawa (231), Zamfara (six), Yobe (five), Benue (one), Gombe (one), Katsina (one), Oyo (one), and Sokoto (one).

“Jigawa state consists of 27 LGAs, of which 25 have reported at least one suspected case. There have been 66 deaths in Jigawa state. During the current outbreak, Maigatari LGA and Sule-tankarkar LGA have crossed the epidemic threshold of 10 suspected cases per 100,000 population, accounting for 60 percent of the reported cases, with 505 and 247 cases, respectively,”

The CFR for the outbreak is seven percent and five percent at the national and Jigawa state level, respectively.

Meningococcal meningitis remains a public health concern, in Nigeria, with outbreaks reported in recent years.

However, with support from WHO, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention is implementing response measures at the national level.

cc: Punch Ng

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