Nigeria launches 5-in-1 meningitis vaccine –

Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, has become the first country in the world to introduce a 5-in-1 vaccine against meningitis. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Men5CV product protects against five serotypes of meningococci. Meningococci are bacteria and spread to others through droplets from coughing and sneezing.

The new combination vaccine offers more comprehensive protection than previously used vaccines, which are only effective against one serotype of the pathogen, WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said. It has the potential to “prevent future outbreaks and save many lives”. Launched in Nigeria, the world is moving closer to its goal of reversing meningitis by 2030.

The West African country, with a population of about 220 million, is located in Africa's “meningitis belt” that includes 26 countries. According to the WHO, last year, the continent saw a 50 percent increase in meningitis cases. A meningococcal outbreak in Nigeria led to 1,742 suspected cases from October 1 to March 11, including 101 confirmed cases and 153 deaths.

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