Pneumococcal meningitis hits Eastern Region, kills 16-yr old boy

A 16-year old boy has died of pneumococcal meningitis at Akwatia as the disease makes its entry into the Eastern Region, health officials have confirmed.

Another person, who has tested positive of the disease, is currently receiving treatment at the Holy Family Hospital at Nkawkaw; bringing the cases to two in the region.

A total of 153 cases [both confirmed and suspected] have been recorded in the Brong Ahafo and Northern regions in the latest outbreak, which has seen 33 deaths so far in the two regions alone.

Nine persons have as of January 26 tested positive of meningitis in the Ashanti Region while seven cases of suspected meningitis have also been recorded in the Volta Region.

TV3’s Eastern Regional correspondent, Yvonne Neequaye reports that the 16-year-old boy died at the St. Dominics Hospital in Akwatia on January 22 after suffering from the disease that has plagued the nation and continues to spread.

She said although sources at the region’s Disease Control Unit of the Ghana Health Service confirmed the two cases as being pneumococcal meningitis, they declined to give further details.

“We gathered intensive education is on-going as several meetings are being held to avoid any spread or more death,” Yvonne reports.

Pneumococcal meningitis is a life-threatening infectious disease that causes inflammation of the layers that surround the brain and spinal cord.

The latest outbreak which started in December 2015 in Brohani and Seikwa communities in Tain district of Brong Ahafo region during which an initial 31 people were affected of which 9 died.

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There have since been increased reports of meningitis cases due to the Streptococcus pneumonia organism in Wenchi, Techiman North, Nkoranza South and Atebubu districts in the Brong Ahafo Region.

Bole District in the Northern Region has also recorded 16 cases with 4 deaths. So far, there are reported meningitis cases in seven districts in Brong Ahafo and two in Northern Region.

Meanwhile the Ghana Health Service has stepped up efforts at preventing the spread of the disease.

Sources: By Stephen Kwabena Effah