WHO Launches $1.5bn Drive to Fight Bacterial Meningitis in Africa

The World Health Organisation on Thursday launched a $1.5bn drive to tackle bacterial meningitis in Africa.

The global health organisation added that it may also be building a vaccine to eliminate the disease across Africa by 2030.

Vaccination of at least 50million African children have been delayed since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and that has sparked fears over a reoccurrence of the dangerous disease.

Matshidiso Moeti, the Regional Director for Africa, WHO said that a “next generation” vaccine will be rolled out in 26 African countries most affected by the disease.

The rollout is expected next year and administered until 2030 round the continent. WHO expects to tackle meningitis in the next eight years and are looking to wipe it out. 

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The plan could save more than 140,000 people every year according to the WHO but such expectations depend on the availability of the vaccine and the officials to administer it .

While there has been no cases recorded in five years, there’s an increased risk with the presence of COVID-19 and restrictions. 

Meningitis patrol has reduced across the continent and children are at most risk. 

There have been more than 350 million vaccinations to 24 high-risk countries in the last decade. 

Meningitis is a disease of the membranes protecting the brain and spinal cord and can lead to death in 24 hours. It is caused by “many different pathogens” that include fungi, viruses and bacteria. Bacterial meningitis is the most deadly, according to the WHO.

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