The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved MenAfriVac as an effective medication for the treatment of meningitis in children in sub- Saharan Africa.
The health agency also announced routine immunization of infants in the meningitis prone areas across Sub- Saharan Africa as way of combating the disease.
“The introduction of meningitis vaccine has dealt the epidemic a fatal blow. Nonetheless, there is need for political commitment in meningitis belt countries in Africa to contain the disease,” said WHO Director of the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals Jean Marie Okwo-Bele.
WHO partnered with global not-for-profit health organisation, PATH and Serum Institute of India Limited (SIIL) to form the Meningitis Vaccine Project which produced MenAfriVac. The drug research was financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The drug trials in several African countries was seen to reduce new cases of infection and death of children.
“Health officials will be able to ensure that population wide protection is sustained by routinely immunizing infants,” remarked the Director of MVP Marie-Pierre Preziosi.
“With MenAfriVac, we have created a revolutionary new model for vaccine development and now we stand on the brink of protecting an entire generation from a devastating disease,” said the Director of vaccine access and delivery at PATH Kathy Neuzil.