By Mustapha Usman, Kano
The Kano State government on Thursday confirmed the outbreak of Lassa fever and cerebrospinal meningitis in nine local government areas of the state.
The state commissioner of Health, Kabiru Getso, confirmed the outbreak of the epidemic at a press conference in Kano, saying the state government had outlined measures to contain the situation.
He said four out of the 20 suspected cases of meningitis recorded were confirmed, just as two cases of Lassa fever were recorded, with three persons quarantined.
“Kano State recorded 20 cases of cerebrospinal meningitis, of which four were confirmed,” Mr Getso said.
“These suspected and recorded cases were recorded in nine local government areas of Bebeji, Dawakin Kudu, Dala, Gwale, Kano Municipal, Kumbotso, Tarauni, Tudun Wada and Ungogo.
“Similarly, two confirmed cases of Lassa fever were recorded in the state.”
Mr Getso therefore said the state government had approved N19 million for “aggressive response” to the outbreak of the two dreaded diseases.
According to him, the state government had also strengthened and intensified surveillance at all levels of healthcare delivery.
He said government had reactivated the rapid response team, which would quickly respond to reported cases of meningitis.
The commissioner noted that drugs had been procured and distributed to major health facilities.
Mr Getso stated further that the state government had also put in place a strong mechanism for sensitization of healthcare providers on CSM and LF case identification and proper treatment, in addition to embarking on social mobilisation effort.
He posited that the state government had also strengthened its collaboration with several international development partners, especially the World Health Organization, WHO, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, CDC-NSTOP and CAPID.
The commissioner said plans were underway to activate CSM alert and response system.
He said the state government was in consultation with the Federal Ministry of Health and National Primary Health Care Development Authority to secure vaccine.
Mr Getso then cautioned that the control of the epidemic is not only the responsibility of the state government, but also the individuals and communities.
He advised people to sleep in well-ventilated rooms and avoid overcrowding, especially at night.