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New Meningitis Vaccine Nearly Eliminated Disease In Chad, Study Says

“Use of a new vaccine in Chad has all but eliminated meningitis, according to a study that boosts the prospects for defeating one of the most feared infections across central Africa,” the Financial Times reports. “Just 57 cases of meningitis were identified last year in regions of Chad where MenAfriVac had been administered, compared with more than 3,800 cases in people in other parts of the country who were not vaccinated,” the newspaper writes, adding, “The figures, reported in the Lancet medical journal by academics led by the Centre de Support de Santé International in Chad and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, lend support to efforts to introduce mass vaccination with the product across … Africa’s ‘meningitis belt’” (Jack, 9/12). “Deadly epidemics of meningitis A are frequent in Africa’s so-called ‘meningitis belt,’ a band of … sub-Saharan countries which extends from Senegal to Ethiopia,” according to the Information Daily, which notes, “It is estimated that around 450 million people are at risk” (9/12). “Infants, children and young adults are most at risk of meningitis, an inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord that can cause death or disability, including deafness, paralysis and limb infection leading to amputation,” a London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine press release states (9/11).