Suspected Meningitis outbreak kills 38 in Jigawa

No fewer than 38 persons have died of suspected Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) in Jigawa, an official has confirmed.

Dr Salisu Muazu, the Permanent Secretary, of the Ministry of Health, told newsmen in Dutse on Thursday that the state recorded a total of 398 suspected cases between October 2022 and to date.

Muazu said the disease was detected in 56 political wards across seven local government areas of the state that border the Niger Republic.

He said the outbreak was initially from the neighbouring Niger Republic, and later spread to the border communities in the state, through transborder activities.

The permanent secretary listed the affected areas including Babura, Maigatari, Suletankarkar, Birniwa, Gumel, Gwiwa and Yankwashi.

“This is in spite of the fact that last year, we conducted immunisation against this disease across the state.

“But after getting the report of the outbreak, we took the samples for testing in the laboratory, and we discovered it was a strange disease.

“It is not a normal CSM disease that we commonly know which is type A, this one, we discovered that it is bacteria, known as type B.

“And immediately after results were obtained, the state government, through the ministry, swung into action, by offering free treatment, control and prevention measures in the affected areas,” he said

Muazu further stated that the ministry had established an isolation centre at Gumel General Hospital, to which affected persons are being referred for treatment and observation.

He, however, stressed that the situation had been brought under control, as cases are being sporadically recorded.

“As of now, we record only one to two cases per day. In fact, there are some days that passed without recording a single case, as the last was recorded on Saturday,” he said.

The permanent secretary commended the UNICEF, WHO and NCDC for their support to the ministry in tackling the outbreak.