Meningitis Outbreak in Chad

Chad is experiencing a meningococcal meningitis outbreak.

8 districts have surpassed the epidemic threshold and 4 more districts are on epidemic alert.

At least 16 deaths have been reported in Oum Hadjer and Am Timan districts.

In response to the epidemic, Medecins Sans Frontieres and the Chadian Ministry of Health plan to launch mass meningitis vaccination campaigns targeting over 900,000 people between the ages of 1 and 29 in Oum Hadjer, Am Timan, Lere, and Pala districts.

The campaign will employ the MenAfriVac vaccine, which is thought to confer longer immunity from meningitis for a wider section of a population than previous vaccines.

These epidemic districts were not in the part of Chad that was vaccinated with MenAfriVac last year.

MenAfriCar is working with the Ministry of Health in Chad to improve surveillance in the regions that were vaccinated.

A girl in the southern Chadian town of Bongor © Nancy Palus/IRIN