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4 KUMACA deaths attributed to meningitis

Health authorities in the Ashanti Region have found meningitis as the cause of death of four students of Kumasi Academy.

The deaths which happened within a period two weeks have caused public anxiety as parents and students demanded answers.

At a media briefing in Kumasi, Wednesday, Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah indicated autopsy reports from different facilities on three of the four deceased point to meningitis.

The hospital are St Patrick at Offinso Maase, St. Michael ’s at Pramso and KNUST School of Medical Sciences.

Even though a combined team of health experts from the Ghana Health Service and the Komfo Anokye Teaching concluded that meningitis was the cause of deaths, they could not say exactly what strain of meningitis it was.

A Regional Epidemic Management Committee has been constituted to find out exactly the strain of meningitis responsible for the deaths of the four students.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the covering of the brain and spinal cord. It is mostly caused by virus, fungi and bacterium.

Outbreaks of meningitis remain a major public health challenge, particularly, in the Northern regions.

Symptoms include neck pain and stiffness, convulsion, confusion and vomiting.

Health authorities say because meningitis is endemic in Ghana, report of one case constitutes no outbreak, though enhanced surveillance is required to prevent spread.

Meanwhile, the Health Directorate says it has already handled 26 suspected cases.

They attribute the Kumasi Academy cases to harsh weather conditions.

Mr. Osei- Mensah says as part of the steps to curb future spread, each school is now designated to a particular hospital.

School authorities seek to decongest the dormitories by moving some of the students to a new block under construction.

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