Long term neurological complications of bacterial meningitis in Nigerian children
Background: Neurological disorders in children are common occurrence in clinical practice. The disorder account for more than 170,000 deaths worldwide each year and contributes to the world's disease burden with
majority of people affected living in Africa. When affected by such illnesses, a person's memory, motor and cognitive abilities, concentration,
speech, and physique can be drastically altered. Many of these disorders are chronic, frustrating to caregivers and parents and require adequate understanding to cope with management. Bacterial meningitis contributes
significantly to this morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, known as the “meningitis belt”.
This study highlights the long term neurological complications of bacterial meningitis amongst children who were on follow up at the neurology unit at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), a tertiary hospital
in Southern Nigeria.
Method: This is a three year follow up prospective study of children with meningitis at the Paediatric neurology unit of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Nigeria between January 1st 2010 and December, 31st 2012. Descriptive analysis was done using SPSS® version 17.
Result and Conclusion: Out of 7,644 patients seen in the department,
624 of them were diagnosed with meningitis given a prevalence of 8.16%.These patients were followed up at least one year in the neurological outpatient clinic to assess the outcome post admission.
Those with neurological sequelae were 94 cases (given a prevalence
of 15.06%) comprising 58 males and 36 females which gave a ratio of 1:0.6. The most common complication was recurrent seizure disorder in 28(29.79%) of them and motor developmental delay in almost 20% of them. Others are focal neurologic deficits and neuropsychologic impairment. The impact and consequences of meningitis is grave, it is important to prevent the disease at all cost.
Key words: Meningitis, children, Neurologic complications, longterm.