Some residents of the Upper West region are calling on the government to release vaccines for Cerebrospinal Meningitis following a surge in the number of confirmed cases and related deaths in the region.
The residents believe that will be the surest way to halt the increasing spate of the endemic and its related deaths in the region.
The Upper West Region has recorded 247 cases of meningitis with 37 deaths.
Speaking to Citi News, the residents said they are in constant fear of losing their lives and want the government to intervene.
“As a resident of Upper West Region, I think over 200 cases of CSM in the Upper West Region is very worrying. I think CSM is even more dangerous than COVID-19 that government is paying attention to because we have just one case of COVID-19 in Upper West Region but we have over 200 cases of CSM,” a resident said.
“I want the government to pay attention to the CSM, especially in the Upper West Region because it is not only this year. It has been a yearly affair. Every year we have cases of CSM and so I will plead that government and other stakeholders will turn their focus to CSM,” another resident told Citi News.
“It is very sad when I hear of the figure. Initially, you will wonder why the Regional Health Directorate cannot take up the initiative of vaccinating residents,. If the President’s methodology is failing then they should consider visiting the past that has always saved us from CSM.”
CSM in the Upper West Region
In just a few days, the total number of persons infected with Cerebrospinal Meningitis in the Upper West Region has increased from 214 to 247.
The death toll currently stands at 37.
A release issued by the Regional Health directorate cited the Nadowli Kaleo district and the Nandom municipality as the hardest-hit areas.
The Nadowli District recorded 74 cases with 12 deaths while the Nandom Municipality also has 76 cases with 10 fatalities.
The urgency around the novel coronavirus pandemic has overshadowed the focus on Cerebrospinal Meningitis cases in northern Ghana.
This has led Parliament to prompt the Ministry of Health to give some attention to the growing number of cases of meningitis in the Upper West Region.
Meanwhile, Former President John Dramani Mahama has donated medical supplies to help fight meningitis and COVID-19 in the Upper West Region.
The items worth GHS50,000 comprised of boxes of anti meningitis cerium and Personal Protective Equipment.
What is Cerebrospinal Meningitis?
The disease is an inflammation of the meninges (membranous coverings) of both the brain and spinal cord caused by meningococcus called also cerebrospinal fever.
It is an air-borne disease that is most feared because it is transmittable, fatal and spreads at an extremely fast pace.
The disease has up to 50% death rate if not treated.
Meningitis can lead to serious long-term consequences such as deafness, epilepsy, hydrocephalus, or cognitive deficits, especially if not treated quickly.
Some of the symptoms include fever, headache stiffness in the neck, confusion or altered consciousness, vomiting, and the inability to tolerate light or loud noise.