The Brong Ahafo region has recorded an increase in new cases of the Meningitis diseases as a result of intensified public awareness by health officials, the Ghana Health Service have said at a press briefing in Accra on Monday.
The region so far has recorded 359 cases with 59 deaths making it the worst hit since the outbreak in December 2015.
Dr. Appiah Denkyirah, Director General of the GHS who announced this during a press briefing on the current situation said all other regions except for the Central region have recorded some cases of the Meningitis but the situation in the B/A currently remains the highest.
He explained that though the cases have increased, the rate of fatalities was going down as significant number of patients who are now reporting at the early stage of the disease recover fast and have been discharged.
“Some patients are now been treated with oral medications instead of the intravenous fluids which was the case initially”,he said.
Dr. Denkyirah described that health officials have not only intensified their public awareness by using varied social mobilization strategies including the radio stations, gong-gong beating, traditional and religious leaders, information centres (Public Address systems) to mobilize the communities for positive response but also enhanced surveillance and sensitized health workers on the outbreak in the region.
Meningitis Outbreak: Scenes from worst hit communities
He added that, some teams of health workers go to the affected communities to trace and follow up contacts and manage them as appropriate. Dr Denkyirah hinted that the GHS has now streamlined its communication to minimize the confusion in the announcement of statistics with the current situation.
The following activities the Ghana Health Service says it has undertaken with some currently ongoing.
Dr Appiah Denkyirah acknowledged the efforts and contributions of all health partners and officials and assured that the whole country is on high alert to report any suspected cases with the national health system working with development partners to control the situation.
Since the announcement of the outbreak of the Meningitis disease by the Ministry of Health in January 2016, a total of 548 suspected meningitis cases including 93 deaths have been reported across the country with a death rate of 16.9%.
Suspected Meningitis: Any person who has
What the ordinary person should do:
1. Avoid overcrowing (particularly avoid infected persons sneezing, coughing)
2. Drink a lot of water
3. Improved ventilation (opening of windows in your rooms)
4. Report to the nearest health facility if you have fever, headache and neck pain —Treatment is free.
Kobby Blay is the chief health editor at Ghanahealthnest.com. A professional practicing nurse with specialty in mental health and focus for health communications, public health, medical/documentary photography, ICT and systems perspective for health improvement.