The executive director, Niger state Primary Health Care Development Agency, Usman Ndanusa, has confirmed that cerebrospinal meningitis has claimed eight lives in Borgu local government area of the state.
Ndanusa, a pharmacist, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Wednesday in Minna.
He said it was absurd that the disease “keeps on claiming lives annually because people see it as a jinx or evil spirit that can be handled traditionally instead of by orthodox medicine.”
He said the agency had begun sensitisation to curb the epidemic “so that it does not spread to neighbouring local government areas.”
According to him, Magama, Borgu, Agwara and Mariga Rijau local government areas were usually flashpoints of the disease, but only Borgu has so far lost eight people to the scourge from March till date.
Ndanusa, however, regretted that the agency had not embarked in cerebrospinal meningitis immunisation “this year because we do not have the vaccine.”
“While we are awaiting the federal government intervention for the vaccine we are calling on all and sundry to live a healthy lifestyle while the heat lasts. The agency has carried out sensitisation to market places, garages and local government areas,” he said.
Similarly, Ndanusa called on residents to prevent the disease by living a healthy lifestyle.
“A rich immune system can help prevent an infection from the viruses and bacteria that cause meningitis. People should strive to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins; aside from this, good exercise is very necessary as well as regular bath.”
Ndanusa also advised the people to drink plenty of water and try to get quality sleep by making sure their houses were well-ventilated.