CSM cases in the Upper West Region seen dramatic decline this year — Coalition of NGOs in Health

The Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health in the Upper West Region has issued a public alert on Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) urging the public to adopt some preventive measures to help mitigate the bacteria.

The coalition revealed that CSM cases in the Upper West region have seen a decline from the previous 247 cases and 16 deaths recorded last year from January to April to 86 cases and 1 death this year.

“Data received from the Ghana Health Service this year indicates a dramatic decline in the number of Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) cases in the Region from 247 confirmed cases and 16 deaths in the period January- April 2020 to 86 confirmed cases and 1 death in the same period this year”, the coalition noted.

A new strain of bacteria was recorded in the Upper West region in 2020 known as Neisseria meningitis serotype X and streptococcus pneumonia ” coupled with the non-existence of a licensed vaccine against the new serotype” led to the ” rise in the number of CSM cases in the region amidst a global pandemic (COVID-19)”, according to the coalition.

The NGO has urged the public to report to the doctor if they experience fever or headache “and any one of the following; neck pains, neck stiffness, convulsion, confusion, bulging anterior fontanelle (for children under 2 years).”

In other to prevent CSM, the coalition has advised the public to drink a lot of water, improve their ventilation and as much as possible avoid overcrowded places.

See the full statement below:

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 15, 2021

Public Alert on CSM

The Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health (UWR) has been monitoring the CSM situation in the Upper West Region.

Data received from the Ghana Health Service this year indicates a dramatic decline in the number of Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) cases in the Region from 247 confirmed cases and 16 deaths in the period January- April, 2020 to 86 confirmed cases and 1 death in same period this year.

You may recall that the Upper West Region recorded a new strain of bacteria in 2020 known as the Neisseria meningitis serotype X and streptococcus pneumonia, coupled with the non-existence of a licensed vaccine against the new serotype, which resulted to a rise in number of CSM cases in the region amidst a global pandemic (COVID-19).

In 2020, the Health Coalition called upon the GHS to expedite action in curtailing and managing the rising number of CSM cases and deaths in the region.

We therefore wish to commend the GHS and its diligent staff for the proactiveness and dedication in detecting and managing CSM cases this year, which has seen a tremendous reduction in the number of deaths recorded. We also like to thank our member organizations in the various districts for their role and support in educating and sensitizing the public on CSM prevention, symptoms and case detection.

Also, we entreat the general public to continue to look out for the following symptoms and preventive measures of CSM.

Things to look out for;

 Fever or headache and any one of the following; neck pains, neck stiffness, convulsion, confusion, bulging anterior fontanelle (for children under 2 years).

Preventive measures;

 Avoid overcrowding ( particularly infected persons sneezing or coughing)

 Drink a lot of water

 Improved ventilation (opening of windows in your rooms)

 Report to the nearest health facility if you have a fever, headache or neck pain.

About Coalition of NGOs in Health

The Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health (GCNH) is an umbrella organization of CSOs/NGOs working in the health sector of Ghana with branches in all 16 regions. The vision of the coalition is to “See a nation free of illness and disease”. It has since 2007 been involved in national and sub-national level advocacy in influencing health sector policies and playing a watch-dog role in government’s programmes and projects across the country.

For more information contact:

Regional Chairman

Salifu Freeman Kanton

***END***

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