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FG Declares Nigeria Free From ‘Meningitis’

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Oyewole disclosed this to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council weekly meeting in Abuja.

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The Federal Government has officially declared Nigeria free from the latest ‘type c’ deadly Cero Spinal Meningitis (CSM) which claimed thousands of lives since the outbreak in 2016.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Oyewole disclosed this to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council weekly meeting in Abuja.

“We have formally declared the Meningitis outbreak over in the country.”

He said that there has been no polio case recorded for the year 2017 while cholera outbreak in Kwara State has fizzled out.

Similarly, the minister announced an approval by the Council to include members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) into the National Health Insurance Scheme.

“We also informed FEC that we have not recorded new cases of Polio in the country in 2017. We have recorded seven new cases of Lassa fever across the country and the cholera outbreak in Kwara State has also fizzled out,” Adewole said on the other public health issues.

He said the approval would guarantee the corps members access to quality healthcare and prevent unnecessary deaths in the country.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had earlier on Monday on its official Twitter handle declared that the meningitis outbreak was over.

Before the declaration, health officials combated the disease since late last year under monitoring by the Ministry of Health, the NCDC, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA, and International partner organisations.

Statistics from NCDC showed that a total 14,518 suspected cases were reported from 25 states since the outbreak was first recorded in Zamfara State in November 2016.

The NCDC, on its official Twitter handle on Monday, stated that from its data analysis in the last few weeks, it was confirming the 2016/17 meningitis outbreak in Nigeria over.

The Executive Director of NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu added that with the outbreak over, Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) responding to the epidemic had been stepped down.

Ihekweazu said the outbreak had been in constant decline for eight weeks during which the affected states had recorded much fewer new cases.

The decline is believed to be due to the change in weather as Nigeria entered the rainy reason from the hot weather during which the disease spread.

Meanwhile, the NCDC said it has also begun preparation for the next meningitis season.

“Our preparedness for the next meningitis season has begun. We are working towards being better prepared than we are,” it tweeted.


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