x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

HAAD releases half-year meningitis statistics for capital

The Health Authority - Abu Dhabi says meningitis is not considered a problem in the UAE.

ABU DHABI // There were 42 reported cases of bacterial and viral meningitis in Abu Dhabi in the first half of this year, the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (Haad) said yesterday, and none of them was fatal.

The results are on par with last year, according to Dr Mariam Al Mulla, who works for the communicable diseases section of Haad. She said, in 2010, a total of 75 cases were recorded in the capital.

Meningitis is caused by a bacteria that inflames the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Sufferers can be left permenantly disabled by the potentially-fatal disease.

Dr Al Mulla said mandatory vaccinations for Haj and Umra applicants, and for children from birth until 18 months, had helped keep the potentially life-threatening disease under control.

Since an order from the Ministry of Health in September, vaccines for people making the religious pilgrimage have been offered free of charge by public and primary healthcare providers.

"There are also general campaigns for the vaccination," she said, adding that the disease is not considered a huge problem in the emirate.

Earlier this year, the Ministry introduced the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine PCV13 to further control the disease. PCV13 is an anti-pneumonia vaccine that protects against meningitis and 12 other bacterias. Children should receive the vaccines in four stages, starting when they are two months old.

 

zalhassani@thenational.ae