Give Equal Attention To CSM Epidemic – Togbe Afede
Out of the amount, Ghc30,000 would serve as seed money for the establishment of a fund to support local research towards the development of a vaccine for the treatment of Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM).
While the remaining Ghc20,000 would go into procurement of emergency medical supplies to support the delivery of quality and timely services to patients receiving treatment for suspected CSM-related cases.
In a speech read on his behalf by Kuoro Richard Babini Kanton IV, President of Upper West Regional House of Chiefs, who presented the cheque on behalf of Togbe Afede, said recent television footages and news coverage of the lethal effects of CSM were worrying.
He said the disease, which has been wreaking havoc on “our Upper West Region compatriots,” have sent shivers down my spine and that the donation was his widow's mite to help mitigate the effects of CSM.
Local media reports that as at April 15, 2020, a total of 409 cases CSM had been recorded from the five regions in northern Ghana, with Upper West alone accounting for 258.
So far, the CSM, which has a high fatality rate, has claimed about 40 lives, which Togbe Afede, who is also the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, said, “This is truly devastating."
"While we, as a nation, are busily battling COVID-19 pandemic which has taken nine lives so far, with all the energy and resources we can master, the CSM epidemic should also be given the needed urgent attention, and treated with all the seriousness it deserves," he added.
He implored the Ghana Health Service to, as soon as possible, declare the outbreak of CSM a national health emergency, adding that, there should be a concerted national action plan to support the people of the northern regions to bringing this deadly disease under control.
"We must mobilize national support against CSM now. Government and our development partners, as well as the corporate community should support research towards the development of a vaccine for the treatment of CMS," he said.
He urged victims and people with suspected cases of CMS to report early at the hospital for timely treatment and prayed that more help got to the hospital quickly.
Dr Afreh Osei Kuffuor, the Regional Director of Health Services, who received the cash donation on behalf of the Regional Minister, expressed thanks to the NHC President for his support.
He said several calls have been made to benefactors and philanthropists to come to the aid of the region to combat the challenge, "I am happy Togbe Afede has come to the rescue of the Regional Hospital and I am assuring him that the money would be used for its intended purpose."