Minister Orders Zamfara Doctors to Look for Meningitis Patients

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has ordered doctors and nurses at the Federal Medical Centre, Gusau, in Zamfara State, to go and look for patients with symptoms of meningitis instead of waiting for them to come to the hospital.

Adewole visited the hospital on Monday following a publication by SUNDAY PUNCH, which showed how meningitis patients were receiving treatment on the floor at some health centres in the state, due to an acute shortage of facilities that include bed spaces.

The minister recalled seeing the photo of a girl receiving treatment on the floor in one of the state PHCs on the front page of the publication and said patients must no longer be treated in such deplorable conditions.

While calling on the management of the tertiary hospital to assist in strengthening the Primary Health Care system in the state, Adewole, in a statement, ordered them to set up a case-finding team instead of waiting for referrals.

“What I saw in the publication is unacceptable. They are human beings and not animals and we must treat them with dignity. Set up a rapid response team and let them go and find cases,” he said.

“This is not the time to wait for referrals before you treat. You should go out and search for the cases,” he added.

Adewole, however, assured the hospital of the ministry’s support in ensuring that Zamfara people have access to quality health services care to halt unnecessary deaths in the state.

The minister, who was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Health, Mrs Binta Adamu-Bello, and a team of international development partners, later visited some meningitis patients receiving treatment at the facility.

The recent outbreak of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis, which has led to deaths of 438 persons,  began in Zamfara State.

The epidemic has spread to 16 states in the country while 3,959 suspected cases have been recorded.

Bukola Adebayo (Punch News)

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