Fatima Mohammed Lawal
Ilorin – Dr Atolagbe Alege, the Commissioner for Health in Kwara, said on Tuesday that the state has not recorded any case of Type ‘C’ Cerebrospinal meningitis, currently affecting some parts of the country.
Alege told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview in Ilorin that the state government is being proactive as regard the outbreak of the meningitis.
“We are proactive in the state as regards the outbreak of meningitis in other parts of the country,” he said.
He said the state was closely monitoring developments and had held a meeting with its epidemiology and disease control officers on March 31.
The commissioner said that the meeting was to ensure all the 16 Local Government Areas of the state are sensitised to the disease and also report any cases that may occur.
Alege said the state ministry also had meetings with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Department of Public Health on preventive measures and effective sensitisation methods.
“We are at alert; and we are pulling our resources together,” he said.
Also speaking with NAN on the issue, Dr Uthman Mubashir, a Public Health Physician at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), urged Nigerians to be vigilant and report symptoms such as fever, stiff neck and seizure.
Other symptoms Mubashir listed are: moulted skin, cold hands and feet; as well as severe headache among others.
The physician also advised members of the public to live in well ventilated environments, warning them to avoid over-crowded places.
Mubashir described meningitis as the swelling of brain and spinal cord membranes, which could be due to viral, fungal or bacterial infection.
He, however, said the disease was commonly caused by a virus; and that the most lethal strain was the bacterial meningitis.
The expert also explained that early diagnosis and treatment could prevent complications and potential long-term effects.
The physician added that vaccination could help prevent infection by the disease, but not all types of meningitis.