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CHEP Observes world Meningitis Day

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2023 World Meningitis Day
2023 World Meningitis Day

A Non-governmental Organization, Concern Health Education Project (CHEP), has marked this year’s World Meningitis Day with a call on the government of Ghana to ensure that the road map agreed upon by the United Nations (UN) member countries to defeat meningitis is fulfilled.

A press statement signed by it’s Executive Director, Isaac Ampomah said, the agreed road map can be achieved through effective health systems and continuous immunization programs in the country.

The statement indicated that despite significant progress over the last few decades, meningitis remains a much-feared disease worldwide with a high case fatality rate and a propensity to cause epidemics that present a major challenge for health systems, economies and societies.

It said, Meningitis caused an estimated 250 000 deaths in 2019, leaving one in five affected individuals with long-term devastating sequelae, and has serious consequences with considerable emotional, social and financial impact on individuals, families and
communities.

The statement added that the World Health Organization (WHO), with it’s global partners and experts involved in meningitis prevention and control, led the development of a global road map that sets forth a vision and roadmap to defeat meningitis by 2030, involving hundreds of experts, member
state representatives, partners, Civil Society Organizations as well as private sector representatives through multidisciplinary, iterative and comprehensive consultations.

It said the “Defeating Meningitis by 2030 Global Road Map” has been approved by the Seventy-third session of the WHO Assembly in November 2020 (resolution WHA73.9).

The road map sets a comprehensive vision for 2030 “Towards a world free of meningitis”, with three visionary goals:
Elimination of bacterial meningitis epidemics;
Reduction of cases of vaccine-preventable bacterial meningitis by 50% and deaths by 70%.
Reduction of disability and improvement of quality of life after meningitis due to any cause.

It sets a path to achieve goals, through concerted actions across five interconnected pillars:
Prevention and epidemic control focused on the development of new affordable vaccines, achievement of high immunization coverage, improvement of prevention strategies and response to epidemics;
Diagnosis and treatment, focused on speedy confirmation of meningitis and optimal management; Disease surveillance to guide meningitis prevention and control; Care and support of those affected by meningitis, focusing on early recognition and improved access care and support for after-effects from meningitis, and
Advocacy and engagement, to ensure high awareness of meningitis, consideration into countries plans, and increase the right to prevention, care and after-care services.

It said, while the road map on defeating meningitis addresses all meningitis regardless of the cause, it primarily focuses on the main causes of acute bacterial meningitis
(meningococcus, pneumococcus, Haemophilus influenzae and group B streptococcus), that were responsible for over 50% of the 250 000 deaths from all-cause meningitis in 2019,

To this end, the Concern Health Education Project (CHEP) and it’s Partners recommended to the Government of Ghana through its state bodies, the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS), some measures to adopt in the fight against Meningitis as follows:

• Make available the Ghana version of the Meningitis Road Map Action Plan and incorporate the actions into all National Immunization Programs and other Health Awareness campaigns.

• Actively involve Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and charge them to support state institutions in achieving the 2030 Road Map.

• Continuously ensure that the Health Budget in Ghana is increased above or to the 15% Abuja Declaration threshold.

• Redirect COVID -19 health levies into health systems to support services that will provide quality of care for all Ghanaians and to those who may not be able to afford it.

• Work to sustain the National Health Insurance Scheme and devise innovative ways to expedite allocations on time.

• Periodically include the prevention programs and care such that the Road Map Targets can be achieved.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the covering of the brain and spinal cord. It is most often caused by infection (viral, fungal or bacterial). Bacterial meningitis is caused by several bacterial pathogens but Neisseria meningitis (Nm), Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type B represent the triad causing over 80% of all cases of bacterial meningitis. Outbreaks due to meningococcal meningitis remain a major public health challenge in the meningitis belt.

Ghana is among the global identified belt where Meningitis is considered. The Northern regions of Ghana
have predominantly remained the areas the disease is prone.

World Meningitis Day is marked globally on October 5 each year, to create awareness about the disease and to ensure that counties followed the agreed road map in the fight against Meningitis.

The 2023 edition was marked on the theme: “Lighting the road towards defeating Meningitis by 2030.”

Read full press statement below:

Press brief:  Statement

From the Office of 

Concern Health Education Project

 

World Meningitis Day:  5th October 2023

Today Marks  World  Meningitis Day,  a significant  Day that  will  remain  memorable  as  its  comes  as  the  first  within  the  WHO  calendar  and  the  Global  Health  space in  celebrating  World  Meningitis  Day  today hither to as  part of  the  world  immunization  days 24th April days  .  The theme “lighting   the  road towards  defeating  Meningitis” by 2030

Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the covering of the brain and spinal cord. It is most often caused by infection (viral, fungal or bacterial). Bacterial meningitis is caused by several bacterial pathogens but Neisseria meningitidis (Nm), Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type B represent the triad causing over 80% of all cases of bacterial meningitis. Outbreaks due to meningococcal meningitis remain a major public health challenge in the meningitis belt. Ghana  is  among  the  global  identified  Belt  Where  Meningitis is  considered,  the  Northern  regions  of  Ghana  has  predominantly  remain  the  areas  the  disease  is  prone

Ghana  over  the  years  has  recorded  minor  Cases  of  the meningitis outbreaks, out  of  these  the  predominant  cases  are  particularly in the northern regions,  which  in  the  past  has led to the conduct of a mass preventive immunization campaign in the country since 2012 to address the burden of Group A meningococcus.

Group A meningococcus has previously been accounting for an estimated 80–85% of all cases in the meningitis belt in the country, with epidemics occurring at intervals of 7–14 years. Bacterial meningitis continues to be one of the most dreaded infections in sub-Saharan Africa and other countries that fall within the “meningitis belt” due to recurrent nature of the infection and the sequel of deliberating effects among survivors even after treatment. Ghana has had recurrent epidemics in the past but has been free from high mortality levels. Recent  case  of  meningitis  occurred  during  the  heat  of  the  COVID  19  pandemic era. The  surveillance  team  of  the  Ghana  Health  service  was  swift  to  address  this  outbreaks   which was  reported  in  many  news  bulletin

Much effort  are made  to  ensure  effective  health  systems  and  continuous  immunization  programs  in  the  country it  is  also  important  for  Government  to  ensure  that  the  Mengitise  Road  Map  agreed  by  countries  are  fulfilled.   Despite significant progress over the last few decades, meningitis remains a much-feared disease worldwide with a high case fatality rate and a propensity to cause epidemics that present a major challenge for health systems, economies and societies . Meningitis caused an estimated 250 000 deaths in 2019, leaving one in five affected individuals with long-term devastating sequelae, and has serious consequences with considerable emotional, social and financial impact on individuals, families and communities. WHO, with global partners and experts involved in meningitis prevention and control, led the development of a global road map that sets forth a vision and roadmap to defeat meningitis by 2030, involving hundreds of experts, Member States representatives, partners, Civil Society Organizations as well as private sector representatives through multidisciplinary, iterative and comprehensive consultations

The Defeating meningitis by 2030 global road map has been approved by the Seventy-third session of the World Health Assembly in November 2020 (resolution WHA73.9).

The road map sets a comprehensive vision for 2030 “Towards a world free of meningitis”, with three visionary goals:

  • Elimination of bacterial meningitis epidemics;
  • Reduction of cases of vaccine-preventable bacterial meningitis by 50% and deaths by 70%;
  • Reduction of disability and improvement of quality of life after meningitis due to any cause.

It sets a path to achieve goals, through concerted actions across five interconnected pillars:

  • Prevention and epidemic control focused on the development of new affordable vaccines, achievement of high immunization coverage, improvement of prevention strategies and response to epidemics;
  • Diagnosis and treatment, focused on speedy confirmation of meningitis and optimal management;
  • Disease surveillance to guide meningitis prevention and control;
  • Care and support of those affected by meningitis, focusing on early recognition and improved access care and support for after-effects from meningitis, and
  • Advocacy and engagement, to ensure high awareness of meningitis, consideration into countries plans, and increase the right to prevention, care and after-care services.

While the road map on defeating meningitis addresses all meningitis regardless of the cause, it primarily focuses on the main causes of acute bacterial meningitis(meningococcus, pneumococcus, Haemophilus  influenzae  and group B streptococcus), that were responsible for over 50% of the 250 000 deaths from all-cause meningitis in 2019,

 

To  this  End  the   Concern  Health  Education  Project  and  Partners  hereby  recommend  to  the Government  of  Ghana through  it  state  bodies  the   MoH  and  the  Ghana  Health  services   the  following:

  • Make available  the  Ghana Version  of  the  Meningitis  Road  Map  Action  Plan  and  incorporate  the  actions  into  all  National  Immunization  Programs  and  other  Health Awareness  campaigns
  • Actively Involve   CSOs  and  charge  them  to  support  state  institutions in  achieving  the  2030  Road  Map:
  • Continuously Ensure  that  the  Health  Budget  in  Ghana  is   increased  above     or  to   the  15%  Abuja  Declaration   threshold
  • Redirect COVID  19  health  Levies  into health  systems  to  supports  services that  will provide  quality  of  care  for  all  Ghanaians  and to  those  who  may  not
  • Work to  Sustain  the  National  Health  Insurance   Scheme and  devise  innovative  ways  to expedite allocations on  time
  • Periodically include  the  prevention  programs  and  care such  that  the  Road  Map  Targets  can  be  achieved
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