Gov't Supplies Meningitis Vaccines For Distribution In Upper West

The Ministry of Health has supplied 80,000 doses of AC vaccines for distribution to the nine districts in the Upper West Region for vaccination against the meningitis that has so far claimed 17 lives. Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, Minister of Health, said more vaccines were expected from the World Health Organisation, which would be airlifted to Wa and Tamale to augment the stock of vaccines at the Health facility. He said so far 140 cases had been recorded in the region within the eight weeks of outbreak of the disease with Jirapa District recording half of the cases. Of the 140 meningitis cases recorded, 16 of them were confirmed to be meningitis W135 pointing out that the disease was not a new one as some people perceived it to be because clinical studies showed it had been with the people. Dr Kunbuor on Saturday briefed the media on the latest development of the meningitis situation in the region after a tour of the district with a team of experts from the ministry to ascertain the magnitude and impact of the disease on the people. He said the situation was under control and people should not panic or think that the condition was a hopeless one. He explained that the fatality rate in Jirapa, which was 14.3 per cent, had reduced to four percent. The sector Minister attributed the outbreak of the disease to the weather condition of the region while the high fatality rate was as a result of late reporting by victims to health facilities for treatment. Dr Kunbuor announced that his Ministry was collaborating with National Disaster Management Organisation for provision of mattresses for distribution to the people for outdoor sleep. Dr Alexis Nang-Beifubah, Upper West Regional Director of Health Service, announced that the Ministry was on top of the issue as health workers were working round the clock to put the disease under control. Mr Mahmud Khalid, Upper West Regional Minister said people should not make politics out of the precarious meningitis situation in the region. He called on all stakeholders in the health sector to play their roles properly to bring the disease under control.