Three more persons have died from Meningitis related cases in the Upper West Region of Ghana. This brings the death toll in the region to 43 and 56 countrywide.
Upper West Regional Minister, Hafiz Bin Salih, said the region has so far recorded 273 cases, which bring the country’s case count to 419, according to figures available to Dailymailgh.com.
He described the situation as worrying but was quick to add that health authorities have stepped up efforts to contain the outbreak.
“In fact, the Director-General of the Service a few weeks ago had to deploy the Director of Disease Control and Preventive Department to the Region,” he told a delegation led by Deputy Health Minister, Dr Bernard Oko-Boye Monday.
The delegation has been meeting stakeholders including health and traditional authorities.
Ghana has already deployed health personnel up North to tackle the outbreak in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
During his 8th national address to give updates on Covid-19 situation in the country President Akufo-Addo lamented how CSM is claiming lives.
“The recent, tragic CSM outbreak, with over 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,” Mr Akufo-Addo said.
The disease has already been reported in six other regions including Central and Ashanti.
No known vaccine for new Meningitis strain
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) had already disclosed that the current outbreak of Meningitis in the Upper West Region is caused by a new strain of bacteria that has no vaccine.
This was contained in a press release issued by the Service dated Friday, April 17, 2020.
“The current outbreak in the Upper West Region is caused mainly by a new strain of bacteria; Neisseria meningitides serotype X, which has no vaccine and Streptococcus pneumonia which has an average case fatality of 40%.”
At the time the statement was released, a total of 258 cases had been reported in Upper West out of the 409 cases reported in the 5 regions of the north, resulting in 40 deaths.
The Ghana Health Service, however, said even though there is no vaccine for this strain causing the outbreak, there is an effective treatment upon early reporting and initiation of the said treatment.
This can “significantly improve outcome and improve survival rate”.
The Service also disclosed that “Regional and District Public Health Emergency Management Committee (PHEMCs) has been activated and meet weekly to coordinate investigation and response activities.”