One person in the Bongo District has been confirmed dead, following the outbreak of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis (CSM) in the area.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency, the Bongo District Director of Health, Madam Juliana Anam-Erime Akugre, confirmed the story, and said the dead was a 14-year-old girl from Atampisii, one of the communities.
She said a 57-year-old woman from the Ayopia community, who was suspected to have CSM, however, tested negative, but later died.
The District Director said so far eight meningitis cases had been recorded in the district from the second week of January to date.
Madam Akugre said though the cases were worrying, she was not surprised because experience showed that the disease usually occurred between October and May, reaching its peak between March and April.
She disclosed that her office tracked the other six surviving cases and realized that one was a female patient from neighbouring Burkina Faso.
She said the District Health Directorate had no stock of CSM vaccines to handle the situation, but added that she had made reports to the Upper East Regional Health Directorate for the needed assistance.
According to her, a regional team visited the district and assessed the situation with the pledge to help with medications.
She explained that the number of cases recorded so far put the district on the ?alert? level, and that it was only when it recorded five cases per week that an outbreak situation could be declared.
She added that the most hit area in the district was the Bongo Central sub-district, which alone had five out of eight recorded cases.
?In the interim, we are monitoring the situation at the community and facility levels, while awareness and public education campaigns are on-going at mosques and churches across the district, as well as the use of information services vans for community announcements on the symptoms of meningitis, preventive measures, and steps to take when a case is suspected? , she noted.
She advised herbalists and other traditional healers in the area not to keep patients with suspected meningitis ailments but rather quickly alert health authorities to take charge of such situations. She also appealed to chemical shop attendants to advise clients with symptoms such as fever, stiff neck and severe headaches to visit the nearest health facility for proper medical attention.
CSM is one of the diseases that often occur on yearly basis in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions where the temperature is very high in the dry season.