Wednesday 29 May 2024
 
»
 
»
Story

The first roll out of the vaccine.
Image: WHO/Ayodamola Olufunto Owoseye

In world first, Nigeria launches 5-in-1 vaccine for meningitis

, April 14, 2024

In a historic move, Nigeria has become the first country in the world to roll out a new vaccine (called Men5CV) recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), which protects people against five strains of the meningococcus bacteria. 
 
The vaccine and emergency vaccination activities are funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which funds the global meningitis vaccine stockpile, and supports lower-income countries with routine vaccination against meningitis.  
 
Nigeria is one of the 26 meningitis hyper-endemic countries of Africa, situated in the area known as the African Meningitis Belt. Last year, there was a 50% jump in annual meningitis cases reported across Africa.
 
In Nigeria, an outbreak of Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus) serogroup C outbreak led to 1742 suspected meningitis cases, including 101 confirmed cases and 153 deaths in seven of 36 Nigerian states (Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina, Yobe, Zamfara) between October 1, 2023 and March 11, 2024. To quell the deadly outbreak, a vaccination campaign has been undertaken between March 25 and 28, 2024 to initially reach more than one million people aged 1-29 years.
 
Meningitis is a serious infection that leads to the inflammation of the membranes (meninges) that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. There are multiple causes of meningitis, including viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic pathogens. Symptoms often include headache, fever and stiff neck. Bacterial meningitis is the most serious, can also result in septicaemia (blood poisoning), and can seriously disable or kill within 24 hours those that contract it.  
 
“Meningitis is an old and deadly foe, but this new vaccine holds the potential to change the trajectory of the disease, preventing future outbreaks and saving many lives,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Nigeria’s rollout brings us one step closer to our goal to eliminate meningitis by 2030.”
 
The revolutionary new vaccine offers a powerful shield against the five major strains of the meningococcal bacteria (A, C, W, Y and X) in a single shot. All five strains cause meningitis and blood poisoning. This provides broader protection than the current vaccine used in much of Africa, which is only effective against the A strain.
 



Tags:

More Health & Environment Stories

calendarCalendar of Events

Ads