Home Health Nigeria First Nation to Roll Out ‘Revolutionary’ Meningitis Vaccine: WHO- Republic World

Nigeria First Nation to Roll Out ‘Revolutionary’ Meningitis Vaccine: WHO- Republic World

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The WHO said that Nigeria’s rollout of the new vaccine brings the world closer to being meningitis free by 2030. | Image:AP / File Photo

Abuja: Nigeria has become the first nation in the world to roll out the “revolutionary” Men5CV vaccine against the five strains of the bacteria that cause meningitis, the World Health Organisation reported on Friday. The vaccination campaign was funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance which aims to provide access to vaccines for those living in the poorest nations across the world. 

Nigeria, the news release noted, is one of the 26 meningitis ‘hyper-endemic’ nations of Africa. Between October 1, 2023, and March 11, 2024, the nation reported 1,742 suspected cases of meningitis with 153 deaths across 36 states in the nation. The vaccination campaign was undertaken to head off this particular outbreak. 

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the WHO, was quoted as saying “Meningitis is an old and deadly foe, but this new vaccine holds the potential to change the trajectory of the disease, preventing future outbreaks and saving many lives.”

“Nigeria’s rollout brings us one step closer to our goal to eliminate meningitis by 2030,” he added. 

Professor Muhammad Ali Pate of the Nigerian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare said that this vaccine will not only help the nation stop the outbreak but also put it on a “path to elimination.”

13 years in the making 

The new vaccine, the release says, has been 13 years in the making and came about as a result of a partnership between the Serum Institute of India and the non-profit health organisation called PATH, with financing from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office noted as being crucial for its development. 

The vaccine has been labelled as ‘revolutionary’ as it is the first of its kind to protect against all five major strains of the meningococcal bacteria, all of it within just one shot. This is a significant improvement over another vaccine that is being used across Africa which only provides protection against the A strain. 

 

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