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Meningitis Outbreak Investigation in Upper West Region, Ghana

One Cohort IX and three Cohort X residents took part in a Cerebrospinal Meningitis outbreak from 22 to 26 March 2017 in Jirapa and Nadowli-Kaleo districts of the Upper West Region. The four residents were part of the rapid response teams in the districts to investigate and respond to the outbreak.

In Jirapa District, a total of 61 case-patients were recorded with six deaths. (Case fatality rate: 9.8%). The overall attack rate was 59.9/100, 000 population. The median age of the case-patients is 16.5 years (IQR 1-86 years). Most 32 (53.3%) of the cases-patients were females. The upsurge in cases involved people from over 42 communities in the Jirapa District and its surrounding districts. Majority of the case-patients were below age 10 years of age.

In Nadowli-Kaleo District, a total of 67 suspected meningitis case-patients have been recorded from 3 January to 26 March 2017, with 10 deaths; giving a case fatality rate of 14.9%. The median age of the suspected cases was 24 years (Interquartile Range 15-46 years). Majority 35 (52%) of the cases were males. The outbreak involved people from 41 communities in the Nadowli-Kaleo District and Daffiama-Bussie-Issah, an adjourning district.

In both districts, the cases did not cross the epidemic threshold. Together with the district health authorities, the team conducted community sensitization on the signs and symptoms as well as control and prevention of meningitis. Sensitization of health workers at the health facilities in the districts and alerting adjoining districts of the cluster of cases recorded.