Meningitis outbreak: 490 killed, Nigeria must vaccinate 21 million people – Minister
According to the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, 490 people have already been killed by the meningitis disease and one billion dollars is going to be required to vaccinate 21 million people in five meningitis endemic states.
This information was made known to the general public at an emergency meeting in Kaduna held by Northern Traditional Leaders and Governors.
Adewole said the outbreak was deadly in Sokoto, Zamfara, Kabbi, Niger and Katsina State, as 4,637 suspected cases have already been recorded. He said.
“Meningitis vaccination is very expensive, to effectively stop meningitis in Nigeria; we need to vaccinate 21 million people in the five states which will cost about $1 billion.”
“We need Immunity Trust Fund to cater for immunisation, we need to put more money in health to build robust health system that is resilient.”
”Nigeria would need to put more money on vaccine, Nigerian vaccine has been subsidised by Gavi, but in 2015 we said we are the largest economy in Africa, which means we can stand on our own. So by 20 25 Nigeria will need to fund its vaccines by itself.”
“The state governments also need to put in more money on health. We want the state governments to support us to revitalise the PHC for every political ward to have at least one PHC. We need to put people there, community health extension workers, and to invest in routine immunisation.”
“About seven million births are recorded annually; if we vaccinate all of them we would protect them from meningitis and other diseases.”
“North west is our emergency zone. We need to declare public health emergency in North West, where we have robust health system, meningitis will not be a problem.”
”Surveillance aspect, early warning system is very important call us on time. We need to look at local production of vaccines to take charge of our destiny,”