Niger is in the centre of the meningitis belt and epidemics are frequent. Major epidemics occurred in 1996 and 1997. Between 2003 and 2008 several thousand cases were reported each year with over 8000 cases reported in 2003. In 2006, Niger experienced an epidemic caused by meningococci belonging to serogroup X, an unusual cause of epidemic disease. In 2009, 13,449 meningitis cases were reported in Niger, with group A meningococci predominating. In 2010 and 2011, fewer cases were reported (2908 and 1214 respectively) and group W was the most commonly detected pathogen. Mass immunisation campaigns with MenAfriVac began in Niger in 2010 and were completed in 2011.
Between January and August 2009, 13,387 cases of meningococcal disease were reported from 25 districts, the majority being caused by meningococci belonging to serogroup A.
MenAfriCar’s collaborating centre in Niger is the Centre de Recherche Médicale et Sanitaire (CERMES), Niamey, created in 1980 specifically for meningitis research.