The Ghana Health Service has confirmed 247 CSM cases with 37 deaths in the Upper West Region of Ghana. According to GHS, the 247 cases were recorded between March and April this year 2020.
In an exclusive interview with, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister, he revealed that, the Cerebral Spinal Meningitis (CSM) has killed 37 people in Upper West Region out of a total number of 247 cases recorded in the last 13 weeks, giving a case fatality rate of 15.4 (%) percent.
According to the Regional Minister, the Nadowli-Kaleo District recorded the highest number of 12 deaths out of 74 cases, followed by Nandom District with 10 deaths out of 76 cases.
The Jirapa Municipality is next with 9 deaths out of 42 cases; Wa Municipality, 4 deaths out of 27 cases, while Wa West District and Lawra Municipality recorded 1 death each out of a total of 15 and 8 cases recorded respectively.
Except the Sissala East Municipality, which recorded 5 cases with no death, the other districts remaining in the region namely; Lambussie, Sissala West and Wa East Districts have not recorded any case of the disease yet.
Dr Bin Salih said the 15.4 % fatality rate is high, and attributed it to late reporting to health facilities on the part of victims. Hence, urging the general public to consult a doctor at the nearest health facility if one experiences the symptoms.
He also noted that, the Regional and District Public Health Management Committees and the Meningitis Response Team had put in place measures to guide investigations among others in curbing the diseases in the region. This has caused training and use of traditional authorities such as Chiefs, Queen mothers and other stakeholders to support in the sensitization of their respective communities on the signs and symptoms of the disease and the need for early reporting to health facilities.
Efforts have been made in the area of surveillance; laboratory investigations; case management; advocacy, communication, community engagement and social mobilization; and logistics to enhance the fight.
Further emphasizes made on logistics by the regional minister, Dr Bin Salih has it that, the existing stock of drugs was not enough, the World Health Organisation (WHO) donated 5,000 vials of ceftriaxone and 1,100 bags of infusion to the region to support case management.
While commending individuals and organisations so far for the support, Dr Bin Salih also called on individuals and corporate organisations to come to the aid of the Region, “No contribution shall be deemed small, we need all hands on deck to slow down the rapid increase of CSM in the Region”. He added.