Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

CSM - the killer disease

The disease Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis (CSM) which claimed many lives between December 1983 and April 1984 in the Upper region of Ghana has resurfaced once more, and deaths have been reported in the Mamprussi district.

The last recorded outbreak of CSM in the region was in 1970 which claimed nearly 500 lives and this time, the Ministry of Health officials have vowed "never again to be overrun by the disease."

Consequently, the Ministry has set up several communicable diseases control camps at Walewale, Gambaga, Sakogu and many others, which are to act as detection and monitoring centres for the presence of the disease.

According to Dr Victor Agadzi, Chief epidemiologist of the Communicable Diseases Control Unit of the Ministry of Health, people who suffer from headaches, neck pain, fever and malaria and show symptoms of CSM are to seek urgent medical help.

Meanwhile vaccines totalling 180,000 doses to combat yellow fever and CSM are available in Tamale to contain the spread of the disease. Several quantities of drugs such as chloramphenicol and penicillin are being arranged from Accra to supplement the treatment programme.

Although the extent of totalities in the current outbreak is not officially known, the Ministry of Health officials have emphasized that "every precautionary measure is being taken to contain the disease since the country's economy cannot stand or afford a widespread epidemic with little or no resources."

Meanwhile, the Primary Health Care Programme is being propagated day in and day out through the opening of clinics and health posts which have no drug or equipment or skilled staff.

The important aspect of the programme, Community Preventive Health Care, is being given less attention than it ought to be.

talking drums 1984-12-10 Cocoa New Strategy needed