Chad’s campaign against meningitis A

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One of the first countries to introduce the new meningitis A vaccine (MenAfriVac), Chad ran an immunisation campaign with GAVI support in December 2011 to help eliminate the region’s devastating epidemics. 

26 January 2012

Chad Men A 1
UNICEF Chad/2011/Negrete

A young boy receives immunisation at a hospital in N’Djamena with a new vaccine against meningitis A -- one of up to 22 million people covered in the December 2011 campaign which also included northern Nigeria and Cameroon. 

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PATH/David Simpson

Chad lies at the centre of Africa’s so-called “meningitis belt” of 22 sub-Saharan countries, stretching from Senegal to Ethiopia. It is also one of the countries worst-affected by the regular meningitis epidemics that arrive on the hot seasonal winds, bringing death, disability, and fear.

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UNICEF Chad/2011/Negrete

The new vaccine, MenAfriVac, is expected to dramatically reduce the impact of this terrible disease, saving as many as 150,000 lives by 2015. Developed in just 10 years, the new single-dose vaccine protects against meningitis A, the region’s most common form of meningitis. 

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UNICEF Chad/2011/Negrete

Actors present a sketch that highlights the benefits of immunisation against meningitis in N’Djamena. The region’s biggest epidemic in recent years affected 250,000 people, killing 25,000 and leaving another 50,000 with disabilities ranging from deafness to mental retardation. 

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UNICEF Chad/2011/Negrete

Social mobiliser Ali Abakar (left) and public crier Moussa Alhat (right) spread the word about the meningitis A vaccine campaign. Imams and teachers also played a lead role in social mobilisation throughout the region.  

Chad Men A 6
UNICEF Chad/2011/Negrete

Three-year old Melomegoto receives her immunisation shot at the Am Toukoui Health Centre in N’Djamena. GAVI has allocated US$ 370.4 million to ensure that the vaccine reaches as many as 500 million people such as Melomegoto who live in the “meningitis belt”. 

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UNICEF Chad/2011/Negrete

Initial results from the 2010 campaigns in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, which also delivered the new MenAfriVac vaccine, have been excellent. Burkina Faso had just four cases of meningitis in the 2011 epidemic season, all in unimmunised individuals. 

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