Accra, April 06, GNA - Dr Franklin Asiedu Bekoe, the Head of Disease Surveillance at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has cautioned media practitioners to desist from publishing unsubstantiated statistics on deaths resulting from Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) this year.
He said such reports could spark fear and anxiety among the public, and, therefore, pleaded with journalists to first cross-check their facts thoroughly with the appropriate health authorities before going to press.
Dr Bekoe, who was speaking to the GNA interview in Accra on Thursday, on the current state of the CSM outbreak, said the Directorate had so far this year, received a total of six confirmed deaths resulting from the disease in the Upper East Region.
Three of them, he said, were from Bawku and the other three from the surrounding districts in the Region.
He, therefore, disputed the varied high figures of death tolls that were currently being circulated by some media organization on their platforms and bulletins, saying the Directorate had a problem with such publications as they were potential setbacks to efforts at addressing the CSM outbreak effectively.
Six students have reportedly died from the disease in Kumasi oover the past 20 days.
The CSM, which is prominent in the three Northern Regions, is an annual disease outbreak that is characterised by high temperature, fever, sudden headaches, stiffness, unconsciousness and photo phobia
This could affect and kill a patient within the shortest possible time.
The disease is caused by different bacteria, the commonest of which are Pneumococcal, Neisseria, and Haemophilia Influenza Type B.
Health authorities have over the years been working assiduously to reduce the devastating effect and ensure its eradication through effective public education within the endemic communities and also ensure widespread vaccination.
Due to the dry nature of the weather during the dry season, people of these areas, particularly the Upper East Region, which have recorded some deaths, are being advised to take in a lot of fluids, avoid overcrowding and sleep in well-ventilated rooms to prevent further transmission of the disease.
People living in these regions and others closely related, are also advised drink a lot of fluids, including water, to keep the throat wet because of the dust during this time, as dry throats could lead to cracks and coughs, through which the meningitis organism is released and transmitted.