The Federal Government says the outbreak of `Type C’ form of Cerebro-spinal Meningitis (CSM) in some parts of the country has nothing to do with moral or spiritual lifestyles of Nigerians.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, stated this after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, which was presided by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Gov. Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara was on Tuesday quoted as saying that the outbreak of the Cerebrospinal Meningitis ‘C’ occurred because of fornication and other sins by Nigerians.
“The Federal Government does not have views of that nature and I am not sure the state government can really continue to make that statement.
“When things happen; yes you can begin to look at many ways for possible causes.
“But like I said, nature played us an unfortunate stroke; that is not to say we committed sin or anything.
“It does happen in this World that things occur out of the blues.’’
The minister noted that there had been a very robust response of the ministry and the affected state governments in collaboration with the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, Nigeria Primary Health Care Development Agencies, the World Health Organisation, UNICEF; as well as other partners.
He allayed the fears of Nigerians about the ministry’s response on the outbreak of the virus, adding that already 500,000 doses of vaccines were being distributed to the affected states.
“Government is also getting 826,000 units which are being shipped from Europe to us within the next few days.
“The most affected states have been Zamfara, Sokoto and Katsina and together they have about 85 per cent of the cases. As of today, there have been 2,996 cases in 16 states and 64 local governments.
“There have been 336 fatalities of which 141 have been confirmed by laboratory tests.
“There is reactive vaccinations going on already; there is social mobilisation going on, teams are working in the affected states.
“So in other to allay the fears of Nigerians, we want to make it clear that this is not a sign of failure of the system, it is a fact that nature played a very different stroke this time that caught everybody off guard.”
He announced that two treatment centres were being set up in every local government and lumber puncture kits had also been distributed so that doctors could take samples to laboratories for testing. (NAN)