A meningitis vaccination campaign ends in Burundi

In October and November, MSF vaccinated 217,250 people against meningitis in the Ruyigi province in Burundi. This translates into a coverage of 85%. Although not part of the so-called 'African Meningitis belt', Burundi has suffered several meningitis outbreaks over the last decade. The current epidemic started in August this year. In Ruyigi province the first cases were found through the health centres whee MSF is providing support. The team immediately responded with intensified case finding, public awareness, case definition, lumbar punctures and distribution of chloramphenicol a drug to treat meningitis. Due to rebel attacks and military presence, the Moso region next to the Tanzanian frontier, where MSF's primary healthcare activities are centred, were halted during the campaign resulting in a coverage of 50% of the Nyabitsinda commune. When the campaign was finished however, the area opened up again and MSF sent mobile clinics and vaccinated this isolated population bringing the total coverage up to 89%.