Vaccine shortage hits Niger as meningitis deaths hit 265
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Vaccine shortage hits Niger as meningitis deaths hit 265

Fola Akintomide

The Minister of Health in Niger, Mano Aghali, on Wednesday, said the country is scrambling to overcome vaccine shortage amid the death of no fewer than 265 people in a meningitis outbreak.

Aghali, who told newsmen in Maradi that infections were increasing rapidly, however, added that the vaccines were inadequate to contain the spread.

He said, “Niger is in possession of only half of the vaccines needed to control the outbreak in the West African nation of roughly 18 million people.

“More than 3,600 people are currently infected with the virus, which causes acute inflammation of the membranes protecting the brain and the spinal cord.

“The number almost tripled in the past 10 days.’’

The Ministry of Health had earlier reported 129 deaths and 1,150 infections.

The rapid increase in infections occurred in spite of the fact that the government closed all schools and launched a vaccination campaign to contain the spread of the disease in late April.

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