Meningitis C: MSF responds to declared outbreaks in Nigeria and Niger
In response to the largest outbreak of meningitis in Nigeria over the last nine years, MSF worked with two Ministry of Health health facilities – one in Sokoto and one in Anka, Zamfara – treating more than 2,400 patients. In addition, MSF teams assisted the Ministry of Health in the vaccination of around 140,600 people in the three most affected areas of Sokoto. Another MSF-supported vaccination campaign was carried out last week to immunise more than 136,000 people in the four worst-hit areas of Yobe.
In Niger, MSF conducted vaccination campaigns with local authorities for more than 463,800 people – aged between two and 20 years – in 28 health areas that had reached alert or epidemic thresholds in Niamey, Tillabery, Dosso, Tahoua, and Maradi. In these regions, MSF also assisted three hospitals and 24 health centres with equipment such as drugs and rapid diagnostic tests, and also reinforced medical staff when it came to rapid case detection and optimal case management. At the same time, the organisation is continuing to monitor the areas at risk and provides support in managing cases.
When I was younger, at around 25 years of age, I got meningitis. It affected my vision. For a while I couldn’t see anymore. It also deformed one of my legs. It is now very weak. This disease has hit many of my family members in Damaturu. I have seen people die because of it, creating havoc in many families. This is why I think it is so important to get vaccinated. We encourage everyone to carry out such interventions.