The World Health Organization (WHO) launched its new project this week- one that will provide over 300 million Africans with a new meningitis vaccine.
Meningitis killed 4,000 of 78,000 diseased people in Africa last year. The new vaccine was produced in India, and ensures immunity against group A meningococcus, a bacteria responsible for up to 85% of meningitis cases in the region. This vaccine is also more affordable than the previous one.
The WHO’s campaign was initiated in Burkina Faso, where 12-16 million are to be vaccinated over the course of ten days. The movement will cover 25 sub-Saharan countries in total which are part of the “meningitis belt,” which stretches from Senegal to Ethiopia.