|African Meningitis Belt|
With a total of 438 recorded deaths from 3,959 suspected cases in what has been reported to be 19 affected states (5 states up North mostly affected) as at April 6th,2017, CEREBROSPINAL MENINGITIS is causing dangerous waves in already troubled waters and the Nigerian Ministry of Health with it's affiliated organisations are learning the Boys Scout motto "BE PREPARED" in a tough way. Unfortunately,historical trends seem to point towards the fact that,only after disease outbreaks and consequent loss of lives,do Organisations make moves to educate the masses,majority of whom are ignorant about potential disease threats,not to talk of preventive measures. If Nigeria is known to be a country in the "African Meningitis Belt" and we are aware of the availability of preventive vaccines for the various causative agent strains,could we have been better prepared?
Simply defined as the body's reaction to injury (inflammation) of the protective membrane coverings (meninges) of the brain and spinal cord,the disease condition referred to as MENINGITIS is not new to the various medical communities in the Sub-Saharan region of the African Continent.
|Niserria meningitides 👀: nicu-pedia.com|
Usually a medical emergency when it occurs,meningitis can be caused by different strains of a paired bean-shaped bacteria referred to as Neiserria meningitides;as depicted above.So if your Governor happens to think otherwise,now you know better. The circulating story is that, up until this current outbreak,the group B strain had been more prevalent and group C strain of the bacteria had been rare in the country thus, a low stock of vaccines against the group C strain of this deadly bacteria. World Health Organisation(WHO) sources however reveal that, various forms of the meningococcal vaccine against group C,as well as other known strains (A,C,W,Y,alongside B), have been around for sometime and have been widely used in Western climes. The Minister of Health,Prof. Isaac Adewale, is however reported to have mentioned the acquisition of over 1 million vaccines in a recent press release. As expected, WHO & the Nigerian colonial master,Great Britain,are living up to the task of rescuing the giant of Africa in need.Hopefully the outbreak should be contained in no time. Bear in mind that other micro-organisms(viruses & fungi) as well as a few other more advanced organisms (protozoans) can also cause meningitis. Sometimes,the cause remains unknown though,some of the symptoms remain similar.
For those who do not know yet, typical symptoms of the disease include:high grade fever,severe headache,neck stiffness,confusion,vomiting,unusual hypersensitivity to light (photophobia),unconsciousness in more severe cases and death in 50% of cases,if untreated. Even when diagnosed and adequate treatment is started,WHO statistics reveal that 5% to 10% of patients still die within 24 to 48 hours after onset of symptoms,so prevention still remains the best cure and vaccination is the ultimate in this regard. As a result of the fact that, the disease can be transmitted via person-to-person through droplets of respiratory or throat secretions from carriers,hygiene and vigilance is of utmost importance,especially during times like this. Close and prolonged contact such as kissing,exposure to droplets from sneezing or recurrent coughing by a carrier(infected person) living in close quarters with you can facilitate spread. For more information on the condition and update resources, visit the references below.
*NCDC|CEREBROSPINAL MENINGITIS OUTBREAK IN NIGERIA-SITUATION REPORT.
*WHO|MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE/EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS,RESPONSE
*CNN|MENINGITIS OUTBREAK IN NIGERIA KILLS MORE THAN 300
*YouTube/kenhub|Meninges Of The Brain (Preview)-Human Anatomy