Following the meningitis epidemic of 1996, African public health officials asked WHO to help them address the problem. Conjugate meningococcal vaccines were recommended following international meetings in 2000 and 2001. The Meningitis Vaccine Project was created in June 2001 to develop, test, license and implement the widespread use of conjugate meningococcal vaccines in Africa. Dr Marc LaForce, Meningitis Vaccine Project Leader, PATH, joined us at the World Vaccine Congress 2012 in Washington.
Meningitis Vaccine Project is working to eliminate epidemic meningitis as a public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa. This is a serious health issue in this region, as over 90% of global meningococcal disease occurs in the African meningitis belt, where focal epidemics occur annually and major epidemics every 7-14 years. The success of this project is clearly evidenced in the results of the Burkina Faso campaign where 10.8 million people were immunized, details of which can be found in this presentation.
Early impact results after the introduction of a new Group A meningococcal conjugate vaccine in Africa:
Â· Impact data on vaccine mass-introduction to Sub-Saharan countries
Â· Project roll out information to eliminate large outbreaks
Â· Discover the unique cycle and possible future applications