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President of GPAA highlights clean air measures against cerebrospinal meningitis

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The President of the Ghana Physician Assistants Association (GPAA), Peter Akudugu Ayamba, has advised residents in the Upper East Region to decongest their rooms and ensure that there is proper air circulation.

This, he said, is a key measure in preventing the spread of cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM).

Mr. Ayamba made these comments when he spoke to Mark Smith on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show.

“Meningitis is more of a seasonal thing. Usually, when we go into the heat period, it enhances the survival of the respective organisms that cause the disease. All these organisms are in the environment, but their survival is enhanced in heat periods when the place is so hot. They are able to survive very well. What we usually encourage is to avoid crowding in our respective homes and also ensure that ventilation in our rooms is improved. If we have quality air circulating, then it would mean that we are reducing the risk of infection,” he said.

It would be recalled that the Ghana Health Service said it is on high alert for any possible outbreak of cerebrospinal meningitis disease in northern Ghana. The last time Ghana had an outbreak of cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM) was in 2020 in the Upper West region. The Director in Charge of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, says the service is monitoring events to avert any possible outbreak.

Cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM) transmission and resulting disease burden distribution is strongly linked with indoor and outdoor air quality. The bacteria that cause CSM primarily spread through respiratory droplets that are suspended in the air. Hot, dry, dust-filled environments further enable transmission and have preceded major CSM outbreaks.

Air pollutants and irritants also compromise the immunity needed to combat infection. The highest disease burden tends to concentrate in disadvantaged areas marked by overcrowding and substandard housing lacking ventilation or climate control.

Poor air quality essentially fuels the spread of CSM, while poverty-related factors concentrate vulnerable populations into high-transmission settings, creating a cycle of disproportionate outbreak risk.

Breaking this cycle requires recognizing clean air as a public health priority. Policy initiatives must focus on monitoring and limiting emissions; increasing ventilation infrastructure investments; upgrading living conditions and access to healthcare in impoverished communities; and combating overcrowding through urban development programs.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1MHZ|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Bolgatanga|

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