With support from Gavi and other partners, Nigeria’s CDC is in a strong position to test for and combat yellow fever.
Gavi has supported a major expansion in yellow fever diagnostic capacity in Africa over the past three years. The results show just how much improving diagnostics can have a cost-effective yet significant impact on immunisation programmes.
At the turn of the 20th Century, US researchers in Cuba made the historic discovery that mosquitoes spread yellow fever. The finding was not only a medical breakthrough; it would also make possible one of the world’s greatest feats of engineering.
In 1793, with the United States of America less than 20 years old, a yellow fever epidemic decimates the capital city, Philadelphia, and shines a spotlight on stark racial and social inequalities.
In the 19th century, yellow fever had taken hold of parts of Europe and the USA, especially the Deep South, killing thousands. Now mostly in Africa and South America, this mosquito-borne disease could spread at any moment, threatening public health and economic security worldwide.
The Ghanaian Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service, with support from UNICEF, WHO, Gavi and partners, undertook a preventive mass yellow fever vaccination campaign from 12–18 November.
We already know that climate change could lead to yellow fever potentially spreading to new habitats in Europe and the USA. But now new research suggests that it may also increase in intensity across Africa, putting many thousands more people at risk.