Meningitis: House Summons Health Minister

Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole
Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole

The House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of Health, Isaac Adebowale to brief it on the efforts being made to contain the current outbreak of meningitis in the country which has led to the loss of hundreds of lives.

This was the mandate given to the House committee on Healthcare Services during Thursday’s hearing.

The committee was also mandated to investigate the issue of scarcity of the vaccine for the treatment of patients and report back to the house within two weeks.

Edo State lawmaker, Johnson Oghuma, had in a motion titled: “Urgent Need to Curb the Scourge of Meningitis in Nigeria” noted that something needed to be done urgently to tackle the menace.

Oghuma expressed sadness over the development, adding that the death toll as a result of the disease is still on the increase as it continues to spread into many states of the federation.

“The outbreak being an annual phenomenon, the Federal Ministry of Health ought to have been proactive to anticipate and put in place plans to address it,” the lawmaker said.

“This ravaging scourge of meningitis may not be over unless measures are taken to curb the spread,” he added.

Oghuma condoled with families who have lost loved ones as a result of the disease.

The Ministry of health had said the type C strain of cerebrospinal meningitis is a rare one which was resistant to the type of vaccine in it stock.

The ministry however noted that the appropriate vaccine has since arrived the country and hundreds of thousands of citizens, especially in states where the disease was prominent, had been vaccinated.

Nigerians were urged to avoid overcrowded gatherings and poorly ventilated rooms, as well as to maintain cleanness in order to avoid contracting the disease.