Meningitis A is deadly, expensive and preventable.
Meningitis A threatens the lives of 450 million people across 26 countries in Africa’s “Meningitis Belt,” mostly children and young adults.
The sub-Saharan meningitis belt stretches from Senegal and the Gambia in the West to Ethiopia in the East.
Meningitis kills within hours.
Thousands die in years with large outbreaks.
1 in 10 die within 2 days even when antibiotics are available.
1 in 4 survivors are left with permanent disabilities such as paralysis, blindness, hearing loss, seizures, and intellectual disability.
Meningitis treatment is costly for both families and nations and contributes to the cycle of poverty.
Each case of meningitis in a family results in a sudden cost of about US$90 – what is about 3 or 4 months of the family’s disposable income.
The permanent disabilities caused by meningitis leave survivors less able to care for themselves and less likely to earn income.
The MenAfriVac® vaccine protects against meningitis A saving lives and money.
MenAfriVac® became available for use in Africa in 2010 priced at just US$0.40 per dose. Over 100 million people had received the vaccine by the end of 2012.
Prevention costs US$0.40 per person versus treatment costs US$90 per person.
The vaccine is targeted to protect 450 million people at risk from meningitis by 2016 and save nearly 150,000 lives.
MenAfriVac® is the first vaccine for use in Africa that can be transported and stored for as long as 4 days without refrigeration or even an ice pack. This saves money and allows for safe delivery to people in even the most remote areas.
The introduction of the new vaccine is a giant step toward achieving the elimination of epidemic meningitis as a public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Page last reviewed: November 25, 2013
- Page last updated: November 25, 2013
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