Published on in Parents PACK
Since the early 1900s, large and unpredictable outbreaks of meningococcal meningitis have occurred in regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Epidemics in Africa are most prevalent in all or parts of 18 countries that stretch across sub-Saharan Africa, commonly referred to as the Meningitis Belt. In this region about 450 million people are at risk of the deadly disease with those in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chad, Sudan and Ethiopia at the highest risk.
Beginning in 2010, in an effort to reduce the number of cases of meningococcus, a newly developed meningococcal A conjugate vaccine, known as MenAfriVac, was introduced to countries in the Meningitis Belt. This vaccine was developed by a sponsored partnership between the World Health Organization and PATH, an international non-profit group based in Seattle, WA. Since its introduction, 100 million people from 10 countries have received MenAfriVac. The impact has been remarkable; for example, in Burkina Faso, a country which reported 40,000 meningitis cases in 2006 and 2007, 12 million people were vaccinated and since 2010, no cases of meningitis A have been diagnosed in vaccinated individuals.
This vaccine represents an affordable way to protect the millions of people at risk during the deadly group A meningococcal epidemics.
Learn more about MenAfriVac
Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.
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