The Vice Chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Professor Fred Binka, has indicated that the deadly Pneumococcal meningitis should be treated as an epidemic.
The disease which began in Tain in the Brong Ahafo region in December 2015, has spread to other areas including the Volta, Eastern, Upper West, Upper East, Ashanti, with the latest being the Greater Accra region.
The disease has so far claimed over 40 lives creating fear and panic among Ghanaians.
Commenting on the issue on Accra-based Citi FM, Prof Binka said due to the surge in the number of cases recorded this year as compared to last year, the disease must be declared as an epidemic.
“Pneumococcal Menigitis is an epidemic and should be treated as such. An epidemic is an increase in the number of cases that we saw last year compared to this year. If you stated that 7 people have died from Streptococcus Meningitis this year, we did not record that same number last year…in epidemiology if there is an increase then we have an epidemic."
Prof Binka advised Ghanaians to be circumspect of their surroundings and the areas they visit in order to avoid being infected.
“If you in an area where you have had a report of an epidemic, then you should be careful not to go to those functions. We can’t shut down the whole social system because of this but we have to be prudent in what is done. For example, if this had happened in a boarding school in Accra, you have to close down the school to protect others,” he added.
He added that the Ministry of Health "should quickly improve on the diagnostic capabilities of the health facilities. They should send them algorithms that will allow them to diagnose the disease.”