Meningitis outbreak hits Ghana, 32 dead, 100 infected

Kumasi – Health authorities in central Ghana have denied that there is a meningitis outbreak in the country's Ashanti region, a report says.

The Ashanti regional health directorate claimed that they were only nine people who had tested positive after critical tests were done, according to Citi News.

In a press conference, the Ashanti Regional Health Director, Dr Alexis Nang Beifugbah said that six of the nine people had died, but, he was quick to say that the disease was under control.

"It is not an outbreak because the total number that we've seen are few in the districts. There are many districts that did not even report any. Out of that, only three of them belong to the group that caused the outbreak in the Brong Ahafo Region. The rest belong to another group...,” Beifugbah was quoted saying.
Reports, however, indicate that at least 32 people have died in the west African country since the outbreak of the disease four weeks ago.

According to Ghana web, more than 100 cases of Pneumococcal Meningitis have been reported in the country's southern region of Brong-Ahafo region.

Deputy Minister of Health Victor Asare Bampoe was quoted as saying that the disease "is not the normal one which the country is used to, but it is being caused by a bacteria known as streptococcal pneumonia".

Meningitis is a serious and potentially fatal disease caused by bacteria. It kills one out of 10 patients, even if they receive effective antibiotics.

It is an inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord and normally occurs during the dry season.

Ghana's worst outbreak of meningitis, Cerebro Spinal Meningitis (CSM), occurred in 1994 and 1996. It affected 17 000 people, leaving 1 000 people dead.

News 24