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Acta Trop. 2017 May;169:51-56. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2017.01.014. Epub 2017 Jan 22.

Current meningitis outbreak in Ghana: Historical perspectives and the importance of diagnostics.

Author information

1
Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR), College of Health Sciences, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana; Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Kwame Nkrumah University Science & Technology, PMB, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana.
2
Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR), College of Health Sciences, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana; Department of Global Health, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana.
3
Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR), College of Health Sciences, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana; Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, Kwame Nkrumah University Science & Technology, PMB, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana.
4
Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Kwame Nkrumah University Science & Technology, PMB, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana.
5
Public Health Reference Laboratory, Ghana Health Service, Accra, Ghana.
6
Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR), College of Health Sciences, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana.
7
Department of Medicine, Section Tropical Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany; Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM), Hamburg, Germany.
8
Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM), Hamburg, Germany.
9
Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR), College of Health Sciences, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana; Department of Global Health, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana. Electronic address: owusudabo@kccr.de.

Abstract

Bacterial meningitis continues to be one of the most dreaded infections in sub-Saharan Africa and other countries that fall in the "meningitis belt" due to recurrent nature of the infection and the sequel of deliberating effects among survivors even after treatment. Ghana has had recurrent epidemics in the past but has been free from high mortality levels. Whereas reasons for the low reported number of deaths in the past are unclear, we hypothesize that it may be due to increased vaccination from expanded program on immunization (EPI) and consequent herd immunity of the general population. As at the end of February, 2016, 100 individuals were reported to have died out of 500 recorded cases. The infection may cause severe brain damage and kills at least 1 out of 10 individuals if quick interventions are not provided. The Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Ministry of Health (MoH), together with other local and international stakeholders are working intensely to control the spread of the infection in affected communities with treatment and other health management programmes. This review presents a quick overview of meningitis in Ghana with emphasis on S. pneumoniae (responsible for about 70% of cases in the recent epidemic) together with some recommendations aimed at ensuring a "meningitis-free Ghana".

KEYWORDS:

Antibiotics; Ghana; Meningitis; Serotype; Streptococcus pneumoniae; Vaccine

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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