PATH

PATH is the leader in global health innovation. An international nonprofit organization, we save lives and improve health, especially among women and children. We accelerate innovation across five platforms-vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, devices, and system and service innovations-that harness our entrepreneurial insight, scientific and public health expertise, and passion for health equity. By mobilizing partners around the world, we take innovation to scale, working alongside countries primarily in Africa and Asia to tackle their greatest health needs. Together, we deliver measurable results that disrupt the cycle of poor health.
May 14, 2014

Putting the heat on meningitis A

This quarter, the news is all about heat—and cold—at the Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP), a collaboration between PATH, the World Health Organization, the Serum Institute of India, Ltd, and partners worldwide.

Putting the heat on meningitis A. The lifesaving MenAfriVac® vaccine reached more than 50 million people between the ages of 1 and 29 in 2013, bringing the total number of people protected from deadly and debilitating meningitis A to more than 153 million since 2010. And there still have been no reported cases among people who received the vaccination.

Now, we are continuing to expand MenAfriVac’s reach. Special campaigns brought the vaccine to vulnerable refugee communities in Chad and South Sudan in March, and five new countries are preparing for vaccine introduction later this year: Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mauritania, South Sudan, and Togo. Rollouts will also continue in Ethiopia and Nigeria. Together, these efforts are putting the heat on meningitis A—and chasing it out.

Taking MenAfriVac out of the cold (chain). Many vaccines must be kept cold during transport, storage, and handling to maintain their efficacy. Maintaining this “cold chain” can be a challenge in hard-to-reach areas without electricity or systems to maintain consistent refrigeration. But in February, a study published in the journal Vaccine demonstrated that with a new distribution approach, MenAfriVac stays effective even if it is transported without constant refrigeration for up to four days at temperatures up to 104°F (40°C). This knowledge could help extend vaccination to even the most remote regions of Africa. A separate study suggested that easing the need for constant refrigeration could cut storage and transportation costs in half.

Other MVP achievements include progress on the clinical and regulatory work necessary to allow MenAfriVac to be used among infants and continued support for meningitis surveillance in Africa.

Your support has helped make this powerful and wide-reaching work possible. Thank you for joining us as we continue to put the heat on meningitis A—and give people worldwide a new chance to thrive.

The Meningitis Vaccine Project is a partnership between PATH and the World Health Organization. Started in 2001 with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the mission of the MVP is to eliminate meningitis as a public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa through the development, testing, introduction, and widespread use of conjugate meningococcal vaccines. MenAfriVac® is a registered trademark of Serum Institute of India Ltd.


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Feb 20, 2014

To Meningitis A: We're kicking you out

151 million: That’s the number of people between the age of 1 and 29 years in Africa’s meningitis belt who, as of the end of 2013, no longer have to fear meningitis A. Today, they’re protected by the MenAfriVac® vaccine through the efforts of the Meningitis Vaccine Project, the Serum Institute of India Ltd., and partners worldwide.

151 million: It’s a number so big, it helps to put it into perspective. Picture 94,736 soccer fans at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. Now, picture almost 1,594 more—not just people, but stadiums full of people. Since the vaccine’s launch in 2010, we’ve reached that many children, young people, and adults. And to date, there has not been a single reported case of meningitis A in a vaccinated person—and no reported safety concerns.

In the last quarter of 2013, vaccine introductions in Ethiopia, Nigeria, and The Gambia contributed to this success. In Ethiopia, organizers brought the vaccine to more than 18.6 million people; future efforts will reach an estimated 40 million more. In Nigeria, the third phase of a national campaign reached 21.2 million people, and a fourth phase is planned. Early data from The Gambia suggest that a national campaign reached the entire target population—more than 1.2 million people—in just six days. In Cameroon and Chad, smaller efforts provided vaccines to nomadic, rural, and refugee communities. And as we begin 2014, organizers in Sudan have already made an early start, with a campaign reaching 7.2 million people. As always, these campaigns, and future improvements, are supported by in-depth monitoring and evaluation.

Together, our efforts brought lifesaving protection to more than 48.3 million people in 2013 and prepared us to accomplish even more this year. With your support, and the support of other partners, we’re kicking meningitis out of Africa. Thank you!

The Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP) is a partnership between PATH and the World Health Organization. Started in 2001 with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the mission of the MVP is to eliminate meningitis as a public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa through the development, testing, introduction, and widespread use of conjugate meningococcal vaccines. MenAfriVac® is a registered trademark of Serum Institute of India Ltd.

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Nov 20, 2013

Vaccine cuts incidence of meningitis by 94 percent in Chad

September opened with exhilarating news: A study published in the medical journal The Lancet found the MenAfriVac® vaccine lowered the rate of new cases of meningitis by 94 percent following a 2011 immunization campaign in Chad, West Africa. The study drew global attention to the Meningitis Vaccine Project, a collaboration led by PATH and the World Health Organization (WHO) that developed the MenAfriVac® vaccine.

To evaluate the effectiveness of the mass immunization campaigns, researchers compared the number of new cases of meningitis of any kind in regions with and without vaccination during the 2012 season. They found that the rate was 43.6 per 100,000 people in regions where vaccination did not take place, compared to only 2.5 per 100,000 among those who were vaccinated—a stunning difference. None of the observed cases were caused by group A meningitis. In addition, they found no cases of meningitis among people who lived in vaccination areas but were too young or old to participate. This suggests that the vaccine provides “herd immunity,” helping to protect unvaccinated people by reducing the presence of the disease in their communities.

Additional vaccine rollouts in sub-Saharan Africa are continuing this momentum. In September, a campaign in Sudan reached more than 6.3 million people. And recent introductions in Ethiopia and Nigeria, together with a late-November campaign in The Gambia, will bring MenAfriVac® to millions more. By the end of this year, the total number of young Africans vaccinated since 2010 is expected to reach an astounding 150 million.

Your support is contributing to these and other efforts, bringing tangible hope to families throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Thank you!

The Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP) is a partnership between PATH and the World Health Organization. Started in 2001 with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the mission of the MVP is to eliminate meningitis as a public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa through the development, testing, introduction, and widespread use of conjugate meningococcal vaccines. MenAfriVac® is a registered trademark of Serum Institute of India Ltd.

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