The Kebbi State Government says it has deployed health workers to various communities in response to the outbreak of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis (CSM) in some parts of the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Usman Kambaza, told newsmen in Birnin Kebbi on Friday that only three deaths were recorded and not 10 as was being speculated.
“We have some confirmed cases of Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) in the state; one in Birnin Kebbi Local Government Area, four in Bena and two in Anguwar-Nabo of Danko/Wasagu Local Government Area.
“The false alarm that 10 people have died galvanised us to mobilise our health personnel both at the state and local levels, and our investigation showed that the deaths that occurred were not caused by meningitis, but by contaminated water in a stream where people and animals struggle to drink water,” he said.
According to him, the state only recorded three deaths due to confirmed cases of meningitis out of the seven reported cases attributed to other diseases recorded in the two areas.
He said in view of the proximity of the state with Sokoto and Zamfara states, the government promptly mobilised personnel as a proactive measure to contain its spread.
“We have distributed drugs and vaccines in order to prevent unforeseen circumstances that may result for the spread of the disease but so far we have no any case aside from those seven,” he said.
He called on traditional rulers and religious leaders to sensitise the public on the importance of sanitation and hygiene in their domains.
“We will not relent in our efforts to provide clean and healthy environment, but we need assistance from the community and religious leaders.
“We will embark on sensitisation campaigns to complement the efforts of the leaders in our drive to promote a safer and healthy environment,” he said.
He urged the public to report any suspicious disease or ailment for prompt action.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CSM is most often caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitides.
Bacterial meningitis is an infection of the meninges, the thin covering of the brain and spinal cord.
Symptoms of the disease include stiff neck, high fever, rash, headache, vomiting and confusion.
It has so far been reported in Sokoto, Zamfara, Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi, Yobe, Birnin Kebbi and Katsina states with 25 deaths recorded.