Meningitis Outbreak in Nigeria

Nigeria-Menigitis

Photo by Dr. Lyle Conrad

In Nigeria, an outbreak of Meningitis has killed dozens of people.

CNN reports, “A meningitis outbreak has killed 489 people in Nigeria this year, the World Health Organization said Thursday. The country’s Center for Disease Control reported 4,637 suspected cases.”

The problem is that there is a shortage of vaccines in Nigeria, so there is no way they can save everyone.

BBC explains, “Each vaccine dose costs $50, and only 500,000 doses are currently available, Dr Chikuwe Ihekuwazu, head of Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control said.”

This makes it almost impossible for many people to get a preventative vaccine from medical workers. In addition, the government is holding vaccines back from where they are most needed.

Per The Premium Times, “However, the NMA (Nigeria Medical Association) in its statement as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, said it had observed that the state government was not prepared for the outbreak despite glaring signs of epidemic.”

The strain of Meningitis that has been breaking out is not common to Nigeria. They are used to having Meningitis A, not Meningitis C. Therefore, they are having such a shortage of vaccines in Nigeria

BBC explains, “‘For this meningitis C, there is no widely available vaccine globally and the one that is available is extremely expensive.’”

Nigeria has not always had Strain C. It was not till 2013, that the first reported case of Meningitis came into the country.

CNN reports, “Meningitis is a serious infection of the thin lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, which can cause brain damage. “Stereotype C,” a new strain of meningococcal meningitis, emerged in Nigeria in 2013.” Another problem is that hospitals in the area don’t have the capacity to deal with the Meningitis C outbreak.

Per The Premium Times, “‘We also noticed that health institutions in the state especially state primary health centres and the general hospitals are weak and lacking capacity to address the outbreak of this magnitude,’ it said.”

Baptist International Missions, Inc. seeks to share Christ’s love with those around the world that don’t know the Good News. One of the places they work is Nigeria.

BIMI explains, “This is one of the most fruitful fields with thousands of souls being saved. However, it is a field where our missionaries are opposed the most. Our missionaries are specifically challenged in their efforts to train young men who will plant the future churches in Nigeria and neighboring countries.” Please pray for more vaccines in Nigeria. Also, pray for BIMI to train up more young people to do the work that they’ve been doing.

CNN: Vaccinations underway as meningitis kills hundreds in Nigeria

BBC: Nigeria meningitis: Vaccine cost cripples response to outbreak

Premium Times: Meningitis: Nigeria Medical Association slams Zamfara govt’s handling of outbreak in worst-hit state

BIMI: Nigeria – Africa