Wednesday, December 08, 2010

New Meningitis Vaccine

A new, affordable meningitis vaccine is reaching millions of people in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger starting this week. PATH and the World Health Organization, (with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), developed MenAfriVac, the first vaccine to provide sustained protection against the meningitis strain that causes most outbreaks of bacterial meningitis in Africa. More than 450 million people are at risk of contracting this particular strain and it can also explode in large epidemics. The disease kills one in ten people who get sick, and leaves a quarter of survivors deaf or with other severe disabilities. But now millions of people have a better chance at a healthier and brighter future by getting this lifesaving vaccine, which comes at an affordable cost – just less than US $0.50 per dose.

-Clare Ortblad

SOURCE: Gates Foundation Blog