Niger: Six million children to be vaccinated against meningitis

APA-Niamey (Niger) By Assane Seydou

Niger’s Minister of Public Health, Idi Illiassou Mainassara, has launched a meningitis vaccination campaign that is expected to reach six million children aged 1 to 7, APA learned on Wednesday.

The launching of the campaign, which runs from 5 to 11 March, took place in Saga, a district on the outskirts of Niamey on Tuesday.

It attracted many guests and a large number of people.

The vaccination campaign, which has a total cost of CFA2.3 billion, has a dual objective.

The first step is to reduce mortality and morbidity related to meningococcal A meningitis by reaching 100 percent of the targets, and then to encourage 100 percent of the population to adopt behaviours favourable to meningococcal A vaccination.

The campaign, which constitutes a catch-up campaign after that of 2010 and 2011, is all the more necessary, according to the health authorities, as it should make it possible to vaccinate many children aged 1 to 7 years, born from this last campaign to date, and who have remained unprotected.

However, Minister Idi Illiassou Mainassara pointed out that since 2012, one year after the last campaign, no cases of meningococcal A meningitis have been reported in Niger. 

This indicates the full effectiveness of vaccination, including those with MenAfrivac, a new vaccine that Niger is one of the very first countries to test in sub-Saharan Africa, he added.

According to Mainassara, it also reflects the fact that Niger is on track with its commitment to join the international community and eliminate meningococcal A meningitis worldwide by 2020.

Niger is part of the meningitis belt that extends from Senegal to Ethiopia.

Every year this area experience very deadly epidemics for more than half a century.


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