The Government of Nigeria, through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), is planning to add a new vaccine to the current immunisation schedule.
The new vaccine, when taken, will help children to develop immunity against meningitis caused by the bacteria Neisseria menigitidis serougroup A.
It is noteworthy that majority of cases – about 80% – of meningococcal meningitis infections occurring in the Meningitis Belt (see list below) are caused by this strain – Serogroup A of meningococcus.
The new vaccine is expected to be launched across all states in Nigeria on 9th August 2019. It is called MenAFriVacTM.
Key facts about Meningitis from WHO
- Meningococcal meningitis is a bacterial form of meningitis, a serious infection of the thin lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
- Meningococcal meningitis is associated with high fatality (up to 50% when untreated) and high frequency (more than 10%) of severe sequelae. Early antibiotic treatment is the most important measure to save lives and reduce complications.
- Meningococcal meningitis is observed worldwide but the highest burden of the disease is in the meningitis belt of sub-Saharan Africa, stretching from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east. Around 30 000 cases are still reported each year from that area.
How meningitis it spread?
What should you watch out for?
Are you or your children at risk?
Where are the Meningitis Belt in Africa?
Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Cote d’ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of The Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Mali, Mauritania.
What is MenAfriVacTM?
The Meningococcal A conjugate vaccine (MenAfriVac™) protects against serogroup A meningococcal meningitis, saving lives and money.
MenAfriVacTM is the vaccine that individuals are given to help them develop necessary defence system to ward off infections that can otherwise result from Serogroup A meningococcus bacteria.
The vaccine is targeted to protect 450 million people at risk for meningococcal meningitis by 2018 and save nearly 150,000 lives.
MenAfriVac™ costs only $0.40 per dose, about NGN143.227 – just about the cost of a litre of petrol – far less than the $90 (NGN32,226.00) needed to treat just one person with the disease ( which does not guarantee survival).Currency Converter: Oanda.com
Why is MenAfriVac™ suited for Africa?
So at what age is the vaccine to be given to a child?
Is MenAfriVacTM safe?
No doubt, the introduction of routine MenAfriVac™ is a giant step toward achieving elimination of epidemic meningitis in sub-Saharan Africa.
If you want more information, officials advised that you should contact the local health authority in your local government area.