The federal government of Nigeria has warned against paying for vaccines to ward off a debilitating strain of Meningitis currently ravaging the land.

The Director General of the the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib, said the vaccines have been procured for the States and should be administered free across Nigeria.

According to Shuaib, “the agency’s attention has been drawn to news report of sharp practices of some health workers who are alleged to be demanding payments and other forms of financial incentives from innocent members of the general public before being vaccinated against

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“The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, therefore, wishes to put on record, emphatically, that vaccination against cerebrospinal meningitis, like other vaccination in the National Immunization schedule, is provided free of charge for all members of the public by the federal government."

Shuaib advised members of the public to avoid overcrowded places, maintain strict hygiene regime, avoid close contact with infected persons and sleep in well ventilated rooms.

The disease has so far claimed more than 300 lives in 16 States of the federation.

Most of the worst hit States are in Nigeria's north.

The federal government has made available 500,000 doses of vaccines with a plan to infuse 823,000 more; in a bid to halt the spread of the disease.