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Prisons Service on High Alert Over Meningitis Scare

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The Ghana Prisons Service has issued an alert to some prisons in the country to be on the lookout for possible cases of meningitis.

Prisons in the Brong-Ahafo and Northern regions are among those advised to be on guard.

The Public Relations Officer of the Prisons Service, SP Vitalis Aye, told Citi News that the alert was issued to avert a meningitis disaster  considering that the infection emerges and spreads fast during the harmattan season.

He however said the service is taking steps to reduce incidents of the disease should they record any in the prisons.

Congestion and heat are some of the major factors that trigger meningitis.

“We issued an alert that around this time of the year, these things do happen. We have always put measures in place to make sure that though we are overcrowded, we minimize the rate of people getting infected or having a disaster,” he said.

“We ensure that those who visit as much as possible, physical contact is minimized. Again, we create isolation cells, if you are coming to the prisons for the first time, we put you there, we isolate you, we observe you before you are put in the main prison.  Those who are already inside the prisons, if they are showing signs that are not normal, they are isolated. We go through these protocols to ensure that we don’t have an outbreak, and even if it is there, it is minimized,” he added.

There have been about six deaths resulting from meningitis in the country in the last one month, but these incidents are being considered as isolated.

A student of Damongo Senior High School in the West Gonja District of the Northern Region, three weeks ago died of non-communicable meningitis. Another student from Koforidua Technical School, also died from the disease.

Three deaths were recorded in three Senior High Schools in the Upper East Region, and another at Asamankese SHS in the Eastern Region.

No meningitis outbreak in Ghana

Meanwhile, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has refuted claims that there is a meningitis outbreak in the country.

According to the Service, the deaths of some students from meningitis in recent weeks are isolated cases that do not constitute an outbreak.

The Director for Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Badu Sarkodie said in a Citi News that “for meningitis, we have not reached the situation to apply the vaccine. We have the vaccine, but to give it, we have to declare an outbreak first. There is a criterion for outbreak declaration and we haven’t reached there yet.”

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