By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA- AS death toll of meningitis victims continue to rise in the country, the Buhari Support Group Centre, BSGC, has resolved to embark on sensitisation campaign to affected states.
This was disclosed by the National Coordinator, BSGC, Hajia Larai Kolo, while expressing concern over the outbreak of the disease in some states, Kolo said the issue should not be left in the hands of the government alone, rather non-governmental agencies with development partners are to move into areas affected to give maximal support and curtail the disease from further spread.
She said: “It is of great concern to us at Buhari Support Group Centre, BSGC, over the outbreak of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis, CSM, following the rising death toll as reported by Federal Ministry of Health, at the weekend, that at least 328 persons have been confirmed dead in the 90 local government areas in 16 states, which are Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Kastina, Niger, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe, Kano, Osun, Cross River, Lagos, Plateau and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
“As mothers we are in pain because the disease has claimed lives of children, aged, youth, women and fathers. We see this as a serious issue that needs urgent attention, and we know the Buhari-led government is on top of the situation, which the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, has assured that government is working round the clock to contain the disease.
“We at BSGC are not also sitting down because we are out to complement government effort in giving Nigerians the best attention. We are embarking on a sensitisation campaign in affected local government areas and states to ensure the people understand what the disease is all about and how to prevent it.
“We are going to collaborate with the State government and also the local government health departments to ensure the people are given the desired medical attention.”
She also said state governments should collaborate with development partners including trained medical volunteers to reach out to the people in affected communities with vaccines to prevent the disease from bringing them down.
“In situations like this the need for synergy is very paramount to quickly arrest the disease. We urge state governments to collaborate with relevant development partners including trained medical volunteers to reach out to affected communities for proper sensitisation on best hygiene practices.
“We also commend the World Health Organisation, WHO, and the United Kingdom, UK, for their support to the Nigerian Government by supplying 500, 000 doses of meningococcal vaccines and additional 800, 000 units respectively”, she stated.