Meningitis outbreak: WHO donates assorted medical consumables to Yobe government

As part of its response to the Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) and Diphtheria outbreaks, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has handed over assorted medical consumables to the Yobe state government to further contain the outbreak of the diseases that killed over 20 vulnerable persons.

Handing over the items at Yobe State University Teaching Hospital Damaturu on behalf of Dr. Kumshida Yakubu Balami, WHO Interim Northeast Emergency Manager, Pharmacist Katugwa Emmanuel, said the items will not only provide care for the healthcare workers but patients as well as their relatives.

“As you are aware, Yobe state is bedeviled with multiple outbreaks of diseases from last year to the beginning of this year. We started responding fully to the Diphtheria outbreak and by the grace of God, we are containing it but suddenly we had this cerebrospinal meningitis outbreak which started in February, 2024.

“We are seeing a different trend of meningitis that is type ‘C’ in our routine immunization vaccine which we give children under two years. This presentation hopefully we expect that our healthcare workers, patients and their relatives will all be protected so as to contain the outbreaks to its barest minimum,” he said.

WHO as the lead agency in international health response is supporting the state government to provide on-the-job mentoring, capacity building to healthcare workers and coordinate partners to ensure effective response across the hotspot Local Government Areas (LGAs).

Additionally, the organisation is strengthening pillars such as the surveillance pillar to ensure early reporting and investigation, Case Management/IPC/Laboratory pillar, Risk Communication and Community Engagement pillar, and the Vaccine and Logistics pillar.

While appreciating WHO for their unyielding support and the gesture after receiving the items on behalf of the Yobe state Government, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Lawan Gana explained the consumables would strengthen the healthcare system in the state.

“As a reliable partner to the state, these assorted medical consumables donated by the World Health Organization (WHO) will definitely support the state in controlling the outbreaks (Meningitis and Diphtheria). We have been working together with the World Health Organization (WHO) right from the beginning when we established the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) in Potiskum, which is the current epicenter of the Meningitis outbreak”.

“We will continue to work closely to contain the outbreak and with this donation of items, it will further enable the health care workers to protect themselves and the patients they are providing services to,” he said.

Different medical consumables made of thousands of cartons were handed over to the Yobe state government.