Today we were taught that Cerebrospinal Meningitis is common among recruits in Barracks. Cerebrospinal Meningitis is condition that manifests with a variety of symptoms. It is caused commonly by the bacteria, Neisseria meningitidis.
Meningitis is common in the African meningitis belt of the tropics, a region of over 300 million inhabitants. This region is also know for other endemic disease like Malaria.
My lecturer confirmed the ‘Barrack Effect’ in meningitis. This effect is just a mere symbol of how the disease spreads.
Barracks in Nigeria are generally known to be lacking in hygiene and unsanitary. This is particularly worse in the quarters for recruits. Barracks are overcrowded and it houses soldiers who are, in principle, supposed to be stressed out by virtue of their job. Meningitis affects these group of people.
The meningitis belt is characterised by all that a new recruit in the Barracks symbolises. Part of the community intervention to curtail a meningitis epidemic is to face the ‘recruit in the barrack’
Focusing efforts on overcrowding, unsanitary or hygienic environment, the immunocompromised, the vulnerable groups in the society, then we would be a step to total eradication of cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM).