We Have No Funds To Fight Meningitis – Disease Control DG


AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – Members of the Senate Committee On Primary Health Care were on Monday jolted to their spines as the Director-General of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekwedo pointed said his agency does not have the capacity to fight the present outbreak of Meningitis in the country.
Ihekwedo also said that at the moment his agency is not adequately resourced to effectively carry out its mandate especially in the area of creating awareness.
The Director General, who stated these while responding to queries from Senate Committee on with regards to why it took the agency so long a time to alert and warn citizens about the outbreak of Meningitis, said what the agency requires is about N1.5 billion for vaccination in five states where the impact of the disease is most endemic; adding that the amount is bound to over-stretch its lean purse for 2017, adding that the agency has only 12 treatment centres spread across the affected states.
The first sign of the present outbreak of Meningitis was recorded in Zamfara State North-west geo-political of Nigeria during the second week of December 2016 and has so far left 328 persons dead.
Nigeria has sought the assistance of the World Health Organisation (WHO), for vaccines to fight the spread of the disease.
The vaccinations and immunizations against the disease are expected to begin on Wednesday in Zamfara which is the epicentre of the epidemic.
As part of measures to check the spread of the disease, the National Centre for Disease Control
Has advised residents to avoid over-crowded places as well as report cases to nearest hospitals as soon as possible.

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