An outbreak of meningitis in Niger state has claimed 252 lives since January and the country is short of vaccines to fight the outbreak.
As of May 3, 252 people died out of a total of 3,304 cases. Less than two weeks ago, the government had put the toll at 129 people out of 1,150 cases.The number of cases has risen in the past three weeks. This is worrisome because there aren’t enough vaccines.
A meningitis epidemic has been declared in eight districts of Niger, while three others are in a state of alert.The whole of Niger is currently under quarantine, in an effort to contain the highly contagious disease.Some 300,000 vaccine doses have arrived and are currently being distributed. That is less than half the amount the authorities ordered, and far below the 1.8 million doses actually needed to stop the epidemic.