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  • Author: Sarah Cruickshank, Samantha Grills
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Meningitis epidemics are a major concern in the 25-country area from Senegal to Ethiopia known as the “meningitis belt.” A communicable disease, meningitis affects large portions of the population, causes high rates of death and disability, and worsens the plight of families and communities in a region marked by extreme poverty. MenAfriVac™ is the least expensive and longest lasting meningitis vaccine created to date, and is the best medicinal tool currently available to the global health community to combat this serious disease. Developed through a partnership between the Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), an international non-governmental organization, and the World Health Organization (WHO), MenAfriVac™ targets the strain of bacterial meningitis responsible for the vast majority of outbreaks in the region. This vaccine is currently being widely distributed through Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger — and gradually expanding into other high-risk countries — and has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives if funding can be secured and appropriate strategies implemented.
  • Topic: Development, Infectious Diseases, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia