The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has revealed that Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) resulted in the deaths of 190 individuals across Nigeria in 2023.

NCDC: cerebrospinal Meningitis
NCDC: cerebrospinal Meningitis

Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, the Director-General of NCDC, shared this concerning data during the release of the organization’s 2022/2023 report.

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Key points from the report include

Nigeria experienced 2,765 suspected and 303 confirmed cases of meningitis, leading to 190 fatalities, which were spread across 140 local government areas in 30 states, including the Federal Capital Territory.

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The majority of CSM cases were concentrated in the “Meningitis Belt,” covering all 19 Northern states, the FCT, and some Southern states, including Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo, and Osun.

Despite significant advancements in vaccination efforts, Adetifa emphasized that CSM remains a prioritized disease and a persistent public health threat in Nigeria. Annual outbreaks in high-burden states present challenges to individuals, health systems, economies, and communities.

Assuring Nigerians, Adetifa stated that the government is actively engaged in preventive, detection, and response measures to address cases of the disease. The NCDC, in collaboration with relevant authorities and partners, has implemented various initiatives to enhance coordination, collaboration, and communication for a robust response nationwide.

Routine meetings of the national multi-sectoral CSM Technical Working Group (TWG) were conducted to coordinate prevention and preparedness activities. The NCDC also maintained regular communication with high-burden states to assess their status, progress, and challenges.

Adetifa underscored the importance of ensuring that everyone receives appropriate vaccinations to guard against meningitis. Additionally, he emphasized the need to avoid close and prolonged contact with confirmed CSM cases, including relatives, and warned against smoking and overcrowding in households.

The practice of proper respiratory hygiene when coughing or sneezing was also highlighted as a preventive measure. These efforts aim to curb the impact of Cerebrospinal Meningitis in Nigeria.