The Enugu State Government has scaled-up surveillance and public outreach against Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis (CSM), an official has said.

Dr Okechukwu Ossai, the state’s Chief Disease Surveillance Officer, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Enugu.

He said that the state Ministry of Health has adopted pro-active measures through increased surveillance and wide-spread public outreach on CSM.

“We have placed our diseases surveillance officers and offices in the 17 local government areas in the state on red alert.

“We have sensitised the surveillance officers on signs and symptoms of this deadly disease as well as mobilise them to visit border communities within their areas of operations each day.

“They would also routinely visit hospitals, community and government institutions within their localities to carry out checks,’’ he said.

Ossai explained that the ministry had partnered the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on the need for its members to report any strange illness or suspected case of CSM.

He said the ministry had started a jingle in the state-owned radio and television to sensitise the residents on the need to keep their environment clean and sleep in ventilated areas at night.

“We have sent out our health communicators to sensitise religious, traditional and community leaders on the need to take the lead in educating their people about meningitis prevention.

“The communicators will also use opportunity of public meetings and occasions to talk about meningitis and the need for people to avoid crowded areas both in the public and at home,’’ Ossai added.

According to him, the ministry had deployed 86 disease-surveillance-focal persons to 17 council areas to boost disease surveillance and rapid report to government in December 2016.

However, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency said the country needed about 1.1 billion dollars for the vaccination of 22 million persons in the states affected by the “Type C CSM’’.

The agency said that each Type `C’ CSM vaccine cost between 30 dollars and $50 dollars; adding that the vaccine is expensive and scarce.