Meningitis: More Vaccines For Nigeria

Meningitis - Health Ministry Advises Nigerians On Prevention As Death Toll Rises

Nigeria is to get additional 820,000 Meningitis C vaccine from the United Kingdom according to the World Health Organisation, WHO, Country Representative in Nigeria, Wondimagegnehu Alemu.

Alemu made this known in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday.

He said that already vaccination programmes are ongoing in States where the outbreak is more including Zamfara and Katsina.

The additional 820,000 doses of the meningitis C conjugate vaccine was donated by the UK government to the WHO and is currently on its way to Nigeria.

Alemu also said in the last week, the International Coordinating Group on vaccines also sent 341,000 doses of the meningitis C-containing vaccine to Niger Republic where over 1,300 suspected cases of the disease had been reported, particularly in districts that border with Nigeria.

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He said: “A vaccination campaign is underway in Nigeria to contain an outbreak of meningitis C, a strain of meningitis which first emerged in the country in 2013.

“In 2013, the outbreak was initially limited to a few areas in Kebbi and Sokoto states. However, in 2015, more than 2,500 cases of the disease have been reported across 3 states in the country.

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“Since the beginning of this year, the country has reported 4,637 suspected cases and 489 deaths across five states.

“WHO’s Country Office in Nigeria, including a number of field offices, have been supporting the government since the meningitis outbreak began.

“In addition to improving the care of the sick, we are focusing on ensuring accurate information about the spread of the outbreak is available as quickly as possible to help us make the most effective use of vaccines,” Alemu said.

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He said that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, with support from WHO, the US Centre for Disease Control, UNICEF and other partners were leading the response to the on-going outbreak.

He said these organisations were also carrying out intensified surveillance, capacity building for case management and risk communication.



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