Meningitis outbreak: Death toll hits 100
Seven more Ghanaians have died from the deadly Meningitis disease, raising the death toll to 100 in nine out of 10 regions.
Health officials earlier reported that the outbreak of the disease in the Jaman North District of the Brong Ahafo Region, which recorded the highest number of cases, had reduced, while Jirapa and Nadowli Districts, both in the Upper West Region, had recorded rising numbers, Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Appiah Denkyira, told Class News’ Emefa Apawu on Tuesday 23 February 2016.
Asked if there had been any changes in fatalities after the initial 93 recorded deaths, Dr Denkyira said: “the number [of deaths] is over 100, but as more cases come [to the hospitals] the survival rate is increasing due to early reporting”.
Authorities earlier declared the outbreak in Brong Ahafo an epidemic and put the country’s health facilities on high alert. Dr Appiah-Denkyira singled out Meningococcal Meningitis as a major public health challenge.
He said: “Outbreaks due to Meningococcal Meningitis remain a major public health challenge in the Meningitis belt.
All regions have reported cases except the Central Region. Brong Ahafo is still the hardest hit region. Eighteen districts from that region have, so far, reported cases.
The Ghana Health Service said they had undertaken field investigations and discovered the predominant causative agent had been identified to be Pneumococcus, which could be treated with antibiotic.
A team from the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDPC) from the USA is in Ghana to replace the PCR machines stationed in Tamale, provide additional laboratory radiance, and assist in the training of laboratory and epidemiology for health officials.