The Minority in Parliament have said that Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) will claim more lives than the Coronavirus if measures are not put in place to combat the disease.
According to the Minority, government must pay attention to making provisions to combat the disease which has so far taken over 33 lives in the Northern part of the country.
In an interview with the press, Member of Parliament for Juaboso Constituency, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, said, “As I speak to you now, about 33 people have died out of meningitis in the Upper West Region and some other recorded cases in the five Northern Regions and therefore we think that government must pay a particular attention to those regions and as far as meningitis is concerned.”
“I believe government should be more proactive and as I have already indicated, it happens almost every year when the weather in the Northern part of the country is very high and consistently, we’ve made provisions for that particular disease.” He added.
More than 200 cases of Meningitis have been recorded at some health facilities across the 11 districts of the region. The disease, which leads to serious long-term consequences such as deafness, epilepsy, hydrocephalus, or cognitive deficits, especially if not treated quickly has not grabbed national attention due to the COVID-19 scare.
Meanwhile, Infectious Disease Specialist at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH) Dr. Elizabeth Agyare, has said that CSM is even more deadly than Covid-19.
According to her CSM kills about 40% of patients while Covid-19 does about 3%.
“Coronavirus has taken our attention so much that we're not focusing much on CSM. “I fear CSM than coronavirus.” She said told host of Central Morning Show on GBC Radio Central.
Akandoh noted that due to the high cost of the antibiotics for the cure of meningitis, most health facilities are unable to stock their pharmacies with some making claims that the National Health Insurance Authority owes them.
In light of this, the ranking member of the Health of Parliament disclosed that a sum of GHC2 million from the 2020 Budget have been allocated for vaccines and medicines to treat affected persons.
Hence, “I do not see why we should be hearing of lack of vaccines and medicines in the system. We don’t think that any Ghanaian must lose his or her life as a result of avoidable circumstances and so at this point, we want to employ government to pay a particular attention to the CSM because it is killing more people at this point in time than even the Coronavirus.” He averred.
However, Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, in an address to the House called for critical attention to cerebrospinal meningitis, as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic.
He described CSM as the greatest health threat to Ghana because of the fatality associated with it, and not Covid-19.
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs mentioned that Parliament is already taking steps on the matter, with MP for Wa Central, Dr. Rashid Pelpuo, expected to present a paper on the situation to the House.
He adviced that Ghanaians should be concerned about CSM and its fatalities.
“We do know the circumstances surrounding the CSM, unlike the coronavirus which is a stranger to us. So let’s again attend to that and I believe we will be able to conquer that in the shortest possible time.”