Meningitis and the environmental satire
If one doesn’t know better, one would easily term the health crisis in Nigeria as a heightened climax in a captivating movie series, making its audiences jolt in chairs for support, in fear of what may happen next.
It can’t be wrong to say Nigeria just recovered from Ebola, though the space in duration is three years ago, but that was when Nigeria as a nation was almost relegated to her knees, not because of the recession but an horrendous epidemic that put it in face of a tragedy, unending.
The advent of Meningitis is a case even worse; one that turned Governor, Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari to utter a statement linking it to the sinful nature of Nigerians and their consistent failure to turn from their teeming wickedness and nefarious acts. Humorous. some may say, but what were you expecting from a country in lack of vaccines to treat its citizens suffering from meningitis “stereotype C?
The tale of Abigail Tumo, a resident of the Dakwa community in the FCT , and the reported tale of a six-year-old-have become a rallying cry to step up vaccination against Cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM). Six deaths so far are suspected to have been caused by CSM, though laboratory tests are yet to confirm that.
The death toll continues to rise and most recently, Lagos, Nigeria’s biggest commercial hub is not safe anymore. This new developments in the affected 19 states of the Federation asks the question:
Whether the number of casualties and death toll cases must double before the Government steps up their acts?
It is true we are in a democracy and this system of Government thrives on bureaucracy, but must the Government cross their fingers and watch an epidemic thrust through his borders before prevention?
This current meningitis outbreak is not the first, nor the worst. The worst outbreak on record was in 1996-109,580 cases reported and 11,717 people killed. Another in 2003 saw 4,130 cases and 401 dead. In 2008, more than 9,000 cases were recorded and 562 people died. In 2009, cases reached 9,086 and 562 people died.
Sources also affirm that this Meningitis outbreak began November 2016 but like the good people, great nation we are, we didn’t see the doom that was coming.
It is even sad to record this comment from Lawal Bakare, a technical advisor for communications at NCDC, who said thus: “Nigeria wasn’t prepared for meningitis C, Nigeria had no business stocking meningitis C vaccine when the bacteria wasn’t a problem.”
I guess they have forgotten the populist statement: “Health is wealth.”
The situation of things cannot be expressed more than the Emir of Kano, HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi;
“How have we reduced ourselves, what have we done as a people, that we have placed ourselves in a situation where simple things, a medical issue…you don’t have vaccines, say you don’t have vaccines.
“These are the kinds of things that we have; and when we talk about a difficult environment, we realise that 90% of that difficulty, we can address, because it is self-inflicted.”
The irony of the situation is that this current quagmire is self-inflicted. Worse off, we came to this party unprepared, as usual of course.