The Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP) continues to help expand the reach of the MenAfriVac® vaccine, freeing millions of Africans from the fear of deadly and debilitating meningitis A.
More than 50 million people are expected to receive one dose of MenAfriVac between October and December of this year, bringing the total number of people vaccinated to more than 200 million since the vaccine launched in 2010.
In October, vaccine rollouts continued in Ethiopia, Mauritania, and Nigeria. This month, Togo will launch the vaccine, followed by Côte d’Ivoire in December. Leaders in Guinea, where meningitis still threatens communities, are eager to introduce the vaccine but have had to postpone efforts as the country battles the Ebola virus. South Sudan, burdened by a tense political situation, has also postponed a campaign. Together, these challenges serve as a poignant reminder of the complex work of global health—and the perseverance necessary to save lives.
As always, MVP also supported regulation, surveillance, epidemic preparedness, and clinical activities this quarter. In addition, the team talked with leaders about how to harness MenAfriVac's proven ability to remain potent for up to four days in temperatures of up to 104°F (40°C) to help the vaccine reach more people. Heat can sap the potency of some vaccines, but MenAfriVac can be transported for short periods without refrigeration. With the right approach to distribution, that flexibility can help it reach remote communities where constant refrigeration isn’t possible.
An important transition at MVP
We would also like to share important news with you, our supporters. With the help of partners worldwide, MVP’s breakthrough efforts have achieved unprecedented wins for health in Africa’s meningitis belt. Now, after nearly 14 years, we are preparing to pass the baton.
MVP will end in December 2014. We are working with partners to ensure that project activities continue sustainably into the future. Please watch for a final update as we draw closer to the end of this year. As always, your support is, and will continue to be, key to our lifesaving efforts. Thank you!
Did you know that MVP is just one example of PATH’s exciting and innovative work to transform the health of women and children worldwide? To learn about our hundreds of projects and get involved, please visit us at www.path.org.
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 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.