A research center in Ghana has passed the global Meningitis vaccine, MenAfriVac, a product of the World Health Organization and PATH as suitable for administration in toddlers.
The caustic result by the Navrongo Health Research Center (NHRC), which came up with the positive findings after four years at the job, was the fact that the product has been hitherto certified as only for use by people aged 1 to 29 years.
The vaccine is an outcome of WHO/PATH’s Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP) and its express purpose is to combat the chronic ailment in sub-Saharan Africa, from the edges of the Sahel to the Horn of Africa, areas that the UN agency declares endemic to the disease.
This news from Ghana will reverberate to 26 nations around the continent that can make the shortlist of the most affected regions, soon after the initial clinical administration of the now- safe vaccine proves to work in the country of the tests.
Meningitis ranks as one of the diseases with high probabilities of fatalities since it affects the cerebral matter of the brain. One in every ten cases succumbs to the disease, whereas five hundred million persons stand at the yawning gates of contracting it. The complicating thing about Meningitis is that it is resistant to antibiotics, in certain cases, which grim statistic is reminiscent of the 2009 occurrence where eighty eight thousand persons contracted the bacterial infection, leading to five thousand fatalities.
The Ghanaian picture is one of a government-cum-private organizations’ effort, in partnership with WHO to oversee the elimination of the Meningococcal A strain of the disease. The government conducts public immunization drives, with the recipients of the healthcare ranging from one to thirty years of age.
Meningitis vaccine is expensive, by global standards, but the MVP initiative has shelved this economic distraction by incorporating a pharmaceutical manufacturer form India that provides vaccines at 50 US cents for each dose, whereas the worldly average is $100 for a similar measure.
Various well-wisher organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the GAVI Alliance have contributed to the fast break-even point of producing the MVP vaccine for a record-time of less than one decade, with the latter alliance granting a kitty of $162M to help overcome meningococcal A pandemic.
Other nations in West Africa have also benefited from this vaccine and have since then seen the cases of infection go down to almost 0% margins.