A. SITUATION ANALYSIS
Description of the disaster
The northern part of Nigeria is seated on the meningitis belt, which like other Sub African countries continue to experience cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM) during the dry season, where temperatures can go above 35 degrees Celsius. In 1996 the country recorded about 109,580 cases with 11,717 deaths were recorded, followed by the one in 2003 (4,130 cases and 401 deaths) then in 2,008 (9,086 cases and 562 deaths) and in 2009, it recorded 9,086 cases and 562 deaths. In 2017, most Local Government Authorities in the northern part of the country were affected with Neisseria meningitis type C for the first time. These outbreaks occur in the dry season, due to low humidity and dusty conditions and usually ends with the onset of the rainy season.
Meningitis is an acute severe infection of the central nervous system (CNS) associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Highest burden occurs in parts of sub-Saharan Africa known as the “Meningitis Belt”.
Meningitis is a serious viral or bacterial disease in which an outside layer of the brain or spinal cord becomes affected and swollen, and can lead to death of the patient. Symptoms of the disease include neck stiffness, high fever, rash, headache, vomiting and confusion. Neissera Meningitides C was the major cause of the 2017 outbreak in Nigeria. The last major outbreak was in 2009 due to Meningitides A (Source: NCDC 2017).
The index cases of meningitis were reported in week 50 of 2016 and within a short time not less than 4,255 suspected cases were reported with 455 deaths with case fatality rate (CFR) of 10.7% from 128 Local Government Areas (LGAs). Within that short while five States reached epidemic proportion. These States were Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina and Niger States. However, the Red Cross chose to launch its Disaster Relief and Emergency Fund (DREF) operation in the most affected states in the north-western States which include Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina. As at July 2017, a total 14,518 cased reported and 1,166 deaths recorded with case fatality rate of 8%.
A rapid assessment was conducted in April to prioritize the needs of the affected population using RAMP. The assessment considered beneficiary exposure to risks, age group most affected and the capacity of the affected families to cope