A summer report by the World Health Organization (WHO) brings encouraging news for the fight against epidemic meningitis in sub-Saharan Africa. The number of cases reported during the 2013 epidemic season was the lowest it’s been in a decade. The decrease in cases is thought to be due to the introduction of MenAfriVac®—a vaccine developed by PATH and WHO through the Meningitis Vaccine Project.
Plans are under way for the continued rollout of MenAfriVac® across Africa’s meningitis belt. To date, 10 out of 26 countries have launched mass vaccination campaigns, and by the end of this year, another 2 will join them. The Gambia will vaccinate its whole population of 1- to 29-year-olds (about 1.2 million people), while Ethiopia will take a staggered approach, vaccinating 20 million people this fall in the first of three phases. Nigeria and Sudan will continue their phased introduction of MenAfriVac®.
By the close of 2013, more than 150 million young Africans will have received the lifesaving vaccine since it was first introduced in 2010. This progress wouldn’t be possible without generous contributions from donors. Thank you so much for your support!
MenAfriVac is a registered trademark of Serum Institute of India Ltd.
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