#NigFundVaccines & improved surveillance can prevent future meningitis epidemic in Nigeria.
- Meningitis C vaccine, effective in meningitis C prevention, is scarce and costs about $30 — 50 per dose. Quite expensive!
- Gold standard is to commence meningitis reactive vaccination once alert threshold of greater than 5 cases / 100,000 per week (epidemic onset) is reached.
- Rapidly implemented reactive vaccination that commences about three to four weeks from epidemic onset is thought to prevent 70% of meningitis cases.
- Reported meningitis C cases in Nigeria (March 31, 2017) is 2524. A sharp rise in 2days from the reported 1966 cases as at March 28, 2017
- Reactive immunization yet to commence in most places due to vaccine shortage although additional Meningitis C vaccines have been requested by the government of Nigeria
- There is evidence that early reactive vaccination campaign maybe more effective than increasing the coverage area of vaccination. Preventive vaccination is even better than reactive vaccination
- Meningitis outbreak season is predictable and vaccines for reactive vaccination campaign can be made available on time if Nigeria adequately fund vaccines (#NigFundVaccines)
- Then, reactive vaccination can begin early, provided there is a good disease surveillance that picks up cases and notifies on time, when alert threshold is reached. This will prevent high morbidity and mortality during meningitis outbreak as we are witnessing in Nigeria
- Thus, #NigFundVaccines and strengthened disease surveillance in Nigeria is key to preventing future meningitis epidemics