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Health News Tue, 8 Mar 2016

Meningitis strikes at Ellembelle District

One person has died from pneumococcal meningitis in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region, some months after the disease was first reported in the Bia West District of the region.

This was revealed by Yaa Pokua Baiden, chairperson of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), Western regional branch, in an interview with DAILY GUIDE.

“There were two cases in the Western Region and one has died,” she said, adding that “we are embarking on public education to ensure that people report cases to health facilities on time.”

Mrs Baiden spoke to DAILY GUIDE after educating students of Fijai Secondary School near Sekondi on the signs, symptoms, mode of transmission and how the disease could be prevented at a brief forum organised for the students by the society.

She explained that the forum was to let the students understand that pneumococcal meningitis is a serious disease and a public health concern.

“And so whatever education we need to give to them to prevent the disease is very important to us as pharmacists,” she indicated.

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She informed the students that meningitis is mainly transmitted through the inhalation of respiratory droplets from sneezing or coughing from an infected individual.

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“The disease is caused by the inflammation of the productive membrane covering the brain and the spinal cord. The inflammation is usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and the spinal cord,” the pharmacist added.

According to Mrs Baiden, some symptoms of the disease include fever, neck pain and neck stiffness, adding that these should prompt people to visit health facilities promptly.

“The disease attacks suddenly and progresses rapidly so people must report to health facilities as soon as they begin to feel unwell,” she stated.

The Western regional chairperson of PSGH advised the students to avoid overcrowding and limit their exposure to infected persons.

She, however, told them to ensure regular handwashing with soap and the use of handkerchiefs to cover the mouth while coughing to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Mrs Baiden explained that there is treatment for the disease, adding that this could only be done if the cases are reported to the health facilities on time.

She said the PSGH had distributed medicines to its members across the country to make sure that their facilities were equipped with quality medicines.

Over 30 deaths have so far been recorded since the beginning of the outbreak in the Northern and Brong Ahafo Regions of the country.

Source: Daily Guide