Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 163-167

Epidemics of meningococcal meningitis in Northern Nigeria focus on preventive measures

Department of Medicine, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Salisu Abdullahi Balarabe
Department of Medicine Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto PMB 2370 Sokoto
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aam.aam_62_17

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Throughout the past 200 years, epidemics of meningococcal infection have been noted in Northern Nigeria. Consequently, control of meningococcal meningitis is one of the major priorities in infection control in the region. The proportions of cases of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) caused by the five common serotypes (A, B, C, Y, and W135) vary among different regions and within specific geographic locations. Hence, effective and comprehensive disease control can only be achieved with the use of vaccines that target all of these disease-causing serotypes. Vaccines for the majority of meningococcal serogroups implicated in causing IMD are available in developed countries and have proven effective in reducing the disease incidence. However, the overall success of a vaccine depends on its coverage of the at-risk population as well as safety and effectiveness of the vaccine at preventing disease. Therefore, maximizing the global impact of these vaccines requires having them made available in regions with the high incidence of the disease, like Northern Nigeria, where rates of meningococcal disease are several times higher than in industrialized nations, and the reported mortality is usually high.

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