Eighteen (18) persons have been confirmed dead as result of meningitis in the Upper West Region in the last Ten (10) weeks, officials of the Ministry of Health have disclosed.
The Regional Disease Control Officer, Madam Justina Zoyah-Diedong disclosed that out of the total number of deaths recorded, there were 137 suspected cases a decline in the number compared to the previous year.
She blamed the high cases to the geographical location of the region adding that the high and unpredictable temperatures that are recorded throughout the year is another factor that makes the region susceptible to Meningitis.
Other factors are overcrowding in rooms, low ventilations as well as the long dry and dusty season the region experiences.
As part of the activities to reduce the incidence of Meningitis, Madam Zoyah-Diedong mentioned that health workers sensitized community members on the need for early reporting of cases to health facilities. There have also been ongoing engagements about Meningitis at the OPDs of the health facilities.
Despite these measures, the Regional Disease Control Officer mentioned that community resident still report cases to the health facilities. There were also low turnouts to the communities durbars organised by the health staff as well as the challenge of inadequate funding.
Meningitis is a dangerous epidemic, and endemic, febrile disease, characterized by inflammation of the membranes of the brain and spinal cord, giving rise to severe headaches, tenderness of the back of the neck, paralysis of the ocular muscles.
It is sometimes marked by a coetaneous eruption, when it is often called spotted fever.
Meningitis is an air-borne disease, is most feared because it is transmittable, fatal and spreads at an extremely fast pace.
But according to health experts is not that contagious as perceived.
However, the most prominent sign of cerebrospinal meningitis is a stiff neck, severe headache, seizures, fever and vomiting.
Untreated bacterial meningitis medicals doctors have disclosed may pose serious consequences, including permanent brain damage and death.