President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed worry over the increasing mortality rate associated with the outbreak of Cerebrospinal Meningitis in some northern part of the country amidst the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
The president has indicated that though his government is making an effort to fight the spread of the disease, early report to health practitioners could help save more lives.
During the eighth address to the nation on measures taken against the novel coronavirus, President Akufo-Addo described the outbreak of CSM as a worrying phenomenon which is being addressed alongside the novel coronavirus.
He said “the recent, tragic CSM outbreak, with over forty (40) deaths, has reaffirmed the need for ready access to such infectious disease control centres, even though, in our time, nobody should die of the disease. Early reporting is what is required, and I implore everybody to heed this call.”
The Ghana Health Service (GHS), as of April 15, 2020, recorded a total of 409 cases of CSM in the five northern regions in the country with Upper West alone having 258.
“The current outbreak in the Upper West Region is caused by a new strain of bacteria; Neisseria meningitides serotype X which has no vaccine and Streptococcus pneumoniae which has an average case fatality of 40%,” GHS said in a statement dated April, 17 2020.
In view of this, President Akufo-Addo has announced plans by his government to invest in existing health facilities and also establish disease control centres at vantage areas across the country.
“We are going to beef up our existing laboratories and establish new ones across every region for testing. We will establish three (3) infectious disease control centres for each of the zones of our country, i.e. Coastal, Middle Belt and Northern, with the overall objective of setting up a Ghana Centre for Disease Control,” he added.
The outbreak of the CSM, according to the Ghana Health Service is caused by a new strain of bacteria which like the coronavirus has no vaccine yet.
They have also attributed the soaring number of deaths and unconvincing treatments to the financial challenges they’re facing in such areas.
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