Meningitis CSM Cerebrospinal Meningitis
Cerebrospinal Meningitis

NCDC: CSM Outbreak Led To 190 Deaths In 2023

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (NCDC) has recently issued a public health advisory regarding the high risk of a Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) outbreak in the country.

It alerted state governments and public health authorities to the issue as well as the need to mobilise resources for preparedness and response activities.

The centre has also deployed a Rapid Response Team (RRT) to Jigawa and Bauchi states to investigate reports of rising cases and provide medical and laboratory commodities to aid response.

In a public advisory released yesterday in Abuja, NCDC Director General, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, who noted that the agency has heightened surveillance to address the rising cases, explained that CSM is an epidemic-prone disease with infections reported all year round in Nigeria.

He clarified that the ailment occurs when there is acute inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord.

Adetifa said weather conditions like the dry season that comes with dust, winds, cold nights and frequent upper respiratory tract infections increase chances of contracting the disease, especially with crowding and poor ventilation.

“The highest burden of CSM in Nigeria occurs in the ‘Meningitis Belt’, which includes all 19 states in the northern region, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and some southern states such as Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo and Osun,” he said.

The DG observed that in 2022/2023, Nigeria recorded 2,765 suspected and 303 confirmed cases, with 190 deaths across 140 council areas in 30 states, including the FCT.

He stated that despite significant progress in surveillance, diagnostic capacity and vaccination over the last few years, CSM remains a priority disease and ever-present public health threat in Nigeria, with yearly outbreaks in high-burden states which presents itself as a challenge for people, health systems, economies and communities.