Date: 25th January, 2016
‘’GHANA HEALTH SERVICE, PUT IN MORE COMMITMENT TO THE CURRENT TRENDS OF PNEUMOCOCCAL MENINGITIS OUTBREAK’’
The GHANA COALITION OF NGOs IN HEALTH wishes to acknowledge the effort made by GHS and MOH about the recent Pneumococcal Meningitis outbreak; however, we have observed some strategic issues that needed redress immediately. These are;
1. Information, Education and communication (IE&C) materials are not easily available for people to read and have facts about the PNEUMOCOCCAL MENINGITIS especially local languages and symbols.
2. Social mobilization efforts need much to be desired; more stakeholders need to be brought on board (All Hands must be on Desk)
3. The Minister promise of GHC 150,000 to support the region to deal with the outbreak must be fulfilled.
4. The outbreak revealed that, there are new discoveries W135 in the region for the first time and WHO must be contacted immediately for support.
The outbreak is spreading very fast, from one district to 9 districts now in the Brong Ahafo (BA) and now in Ashanti and Northern Region.
We think that;
1. CSO have not been properly involved in the process but all over the world emergency and outbreak responses have had greater success when CSOs are part of planning and involvement.
2. The poor active involvement of the decentralized agencies is not the best.
3. There should be proper partnership with the media not list per-conferences.
4. Inter-regional approach should be enforced immediately.
5. GHS should intensify orientation of district’s/sub-district’s personnel to strengthen their surveillance system and strategies with all inclusiveness.
6. WHO should be broad on the main stream so that more technical and support be given.
Pneumococcal meningitis is an infection that causes swelling and irritation (inflammation). The major clinical syndrome of mechanism that allows disease to occur in a carrier is not clearly understood. However disease most often occurs when a predisposing condition exists, particularly pulmonary disease and if it is going to occur at all, shortly after carriage is acquired. Pneumococcal is the most common clinical presentation of Pneumococcal disease among adults, although pneumonia without bascterim or epyema is not considered to be an invasive disease. The incubation period of pneumococcal pneumonia is short, about 1 to 3 days.
The socioeconomic implications of epidemic meningococcal disease are serious;
1. Control and prevention of the epidemic require a considerable amount of vaccine, medicines and logistical support from the national health authorities of the affected countries.
2. Most countries face great difficulty in responding appropriately to these needs.
3. In addition, routine health services and other important activities are disrupted.
Factors linked to a higher incidence of meningococcal disease include poor living conditions and overcrowded housing, and the impact of the disease is greatest among underprivileged populations. Travel and migration also facilitate the circulation of pathogenic strains inside a country or from country to country and large population movements such as pilgrimages may play a major role in the spread of infection. Other large population displacements, e.g. those of refugees, may pose similar risks. Waning herd immunity to a particular strain in a population may be necessary for an outbreak to occur and could contribute to the regularity of epidemic cycles in sub-Saharan Africa. Some estimates of pneumococcal meningitis over the years in subSaharan Africa.
Dr. Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu