31 meningitis cases recorded in northern Ghana

Cerebro Spinal Meningitis

Ghana has recorded 31 cases of Cerebrum Spinal Meningitis (CSM) this year in the northern Upper East Region, local media reported here Monday.

Cerebro Spinal Meningitis
Upper East Regional Director of Health Services in Ghana, Dr. Kofi Issah, confirmed that the Bawku Hospital recorded the 31 CSM cases between January and March.

He, however, denied that two students in Bawku had died from the disease, which is more prevalent in the Brong-Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions of Ghana during the hottest months of the year (January-March).

Issah, In an interview with local media, affirmed that one person had died at home and another at the hospital.

“With the one who died at the hospital when we conducted preliminary test it showed that he died from one of the meningitis organisms which sample has been sent to Tamale for a confirmatory test,” Issah said.

“But the one who died in the house, people will use the symptoms to tell the cause of death so if he’s been buried, then it ends there, otherwise we have to take substance from him to test in order to ascertain the cause of death.”
CSM is characterized by high temperature, fever, sudden headache, stiffness, unconsciousness and photo phobia and can affect and kill within the shortest possible time. It is a serious and potentially fatal disease caused by different bacteria, the commonest of which are pneumococcal, neisseria, and haemophile influenza type B.

Issah advised people of the Upper East Region to take in a lot of fluids, avoid overcrowding and sleep in well-ventilated rooms to prevent further transmission of the disease.

Due to the dry nature of the weather, he advised that people should drink a lot of fluids (water) and organic fruits to keep the throat wet because of the dust during this time.

According to him, without enough fluids, the throat gets dry, leading to cracks within the throat so when one coughs, the meningitis organism is released and transmitted.

Issah said the Navrongo and Bawku Health Directorates would engage prison officers and prisoners’on alternative ways to improve ventilation and best health practices during the meningitis season to avert any epidemic.

“We can only mitigate the effects of CSM until such a time that, as a society we decide to change our form of housing, modify our social and cultural gatherings knowing how the meningitis organisms spreads,” he said. Enditem

Source: Ray Ankomah, Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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