The Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Zamfara chapter, and residents of the state, have accused the state government of negligence in the handling of the current meningitis outbreak that has killed nearly 200 people there.
According to the medical association, the government failed to put good measures in place despite warnings, and has still not responded suitably even after the outbreak of the epidemic.
Some residents at the weekend also accused the government of “neglect” saying that Zamfara is worst hit by outbreak of Meningitis that has claimed about 300 lives across Nigeria.
The commissioner for Health for Zamfara state, Adamu Suleiman, had in a radio programme confirmed that 160 people had lost their lives since the outbreak. He also said that the disease had spread to all the 14 local government areas in the state.
He also discloses the formation of a task force to deal with the outbreak.
According to News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, report, the NMA in its statement had observed that the state government was not prepared for the outbreak despite glaring signs of epidemic.
It said that the Zamfara sate government failed to provide the needed vaccines for the general population or at least for the most at risk population even after several months outbreak of meningitis occurred in the state. They also decried the government unwillingness to engage the appropriate official whose duty it is to manage the outbreak in the state.
“We note that the constitution of the state government’s main committee for the prevention and control of meningitis in the state has no single medical personnel,” the statement signed by its chairman and secretary
“Therefore, it is unacceptable to the NMA to allow politicisation of health sector.
“Another issue that worries the NMA is the inadequate provision of drugs for the treatment of identified cases.’’
The association also revealed that the drugs being given to the patients are not enough.
“There is no Emergency Operation Centres for coordinating and updating the stakeholders and general public on the progress as it affects the outbreak.
“We also noticed that health institutions in the state especially state primary health centres and the general hospitals are weak and lacking capacity to address the outbreak of this magnitude,’’ it said.
The association urged the state government to stand up to it responsibility to improve its commitments to a provide lasting solutions in order to have good arrangements to protect lives of people.
“NMA’s major responsibility is to advise the government at all levels on issues affecting healthcare services and delivery in order to ensure effective protection of lives of the people.’’