The whole of the north of Nigeria, with its large population, lies within the African meningitis belt. Epidemics of meningococcal meningitis in northern Nigeria have been frequent and large. In 1996, one of the largest epidemics of meningococcal meningitis ever recorded occurred with over 80,000 reported cases; the true figure is likely to have been much larger. Moderate sized outbreaks were reported in 2003, 2006 and 2007 and nearly 7000 cases were reported in 2008, mainly belonging to serogroup A. By the end of 2009 more than 56,000 cases from 175 districts had been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) Multi-Disease Surveillance Centre in Ouagadougou. Most Nigerian epidemics, including the most recent epidemic in 2009, have been caused by meningococci belonging to serogroup A. In 2010, 4983 cases were reported, with both group A and W being detected. Around 1200 cases were reported each year in 2011 and 2012. MenAfriCar’s collaborating centre in Nigeria is the University of Maiduguri, situated in the north-eastern region of the country.

Map of Nigeria