A doctor speaks on Cerebrospinal Meningitis/CSM vaccine.

Dr Oreka Ashey, a medical practitioner at the University of Ibadan Teaching Hospital who was recently involved in the adminstration of CSM vaccine at the NYSC orientation camp, Keffi Nasarawa State speaks on cerebrospinal meningitis and its prevention through vaccination.

Nigerian Health Blog: Good morning Doctor. Thank you for your time.

Dr Ashey: You are welcome.

Nigeria Health Blog: What is cerebrospinal meningitis?

Dr Ashey: CSM is an infection of the protective covering of the brain and spinal cord. It can be caused by bacteria, fungi and viruses. Of importance is the infection by bacteria which is endemic in the whole of sub-sahara Africa including Nigeria. Sub-Saharan Africa falls into the Meningitis Belt.

Nigeria Health Blog: You said Nigeria falls into the Meningitic belt. Is it every state in the federation that falls into this belt?

Dr Ashey: They are 24 states in Nigeria that falls into the Menigitic Belt. These states are known to be very dry and hot and they were affected by the last outbreak in 2016 in which over 1,600 people where affected. These are Katsina, Borno, Nasarawa, Cross River, Lagos, Yobe, Gombe, Taraba, Kano, Osun, Kaduna, Jigawa, Zamfara, Niger, plateau, Kano, Kebbi, Lagos, Gombe, Adamawa, and Sokoto and Abuja.

Nigeria Health Blog: What are the symptoms of CSM.

Dr Ashey: They include: fever, headache, neck stiffness, photophobia, vomiting, convulsions and muscle ache.

Nigeria Health Blog: I learnt there is a vaccine for the prevention of cerebrospinal meningitis called the CSM vaccine?

Dr Ashey: Yes. It is popularly called the CSM vaccine.

Nigeria Health Blog: For how long does this vaccine gives protection?

Dr Ashey: CSM vaccine provides immunity cover for 2-5 years.

Nigeria Health Blog: What is the shelf live of the vaccine?

Dr Ashey: If the cold chain is not broken, the the shelf life of CSM vaccine is 24 months.

Nigeria Health Blog: The vaccine is not taken by children below 11 years. CSM vaccine is given to individuals that are 12 years and above. Pregnant women are advised to take the vaccine.

Nigeria Health Blog: What is the site and route of administration of the CSM vaccine.

Dr Ashey: The vaccine is given in the deltoid muscle of the left arm either intramuscularly or subcutaneously.

Nigeria Health Blog: where can one get the CSM vaccine.

Dr Ashey: The vaccine is gotten in some hospitals, health centres and during mass vaccination programmes.

Nigeria Health Blog: what are the side effects of the vaccine.

DR Ashey: The common side effect of getting the CSM vaccine are pain or soreness at the injection site, reddness or swelling at the site. Rarely, the side effects are fatigue, headache, muscle or joint pain, nausea and diarrhoea.
These side effects are nothing compared to the benefits the CSM vaccine provides.

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