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Health Overcrowding in SHS not cause of meningitis, swine flu – Health Minister

The Health Minister, Kwaku Aggyeman Manu, says the outbreak of meningitis in some secondary schools cannot be due to overcrowding.

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play Kwaku Agyeman Manu

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, has rejected claims that the outbreak of meningitis in some Senior High Schools (SHS) is as a result of overcrowding.

Those attributing it congestion, I wouldn’t know what evidence and information that they have. But when there is a challenge, it the professional people who should deal with the matter,” he told Accra-based Joy FM.

READ MORE: Meningitis kills 9, 87 cases recorded so far

He added: “If there is congestion in a school and there are 25 students sleeping where five students should sleep and there is meningitis, it wouldn’t affect only one person.

“I don’t think that is the major major challenge.  Other than that, the case burden would have been higher and not the numbers that we are looking at.

“I don’t want to believe that it is the congestion.”

READ MORE: SECTEC students live in fear as one student dies

The Head of Disease and Surveillance Unit at the Ghana Health Service last week identified congestion at senior high schools as one risk factor for the spread of meningitis.

According to Dr Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, the crowded nature of classrooms and dormitories at SHSs poses a challenge to students.

 “If the pathogen is in your throat [and] so far as you are one meter apart the other person can get it," he said, adding: "clearly the numbers in the classroom brings about a challenge."

In the Upper East Region, two students have died of meningitis while in the Eastern Region a student of  Koforidua Secondary Technical School (SECTEC) is said to have also died as a result of meningitis.

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