Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

4 December 2012

Cameroon: Meningitis Vaccination Campaign Launched in North West

Break the epidemiological chain of the health problem associated with meningitis A. is the subject of a mass vaccination campaign to run from December 3 to 12, 2012 in the North West and Adamawa Regions. Public Health Minister, Andre Mama Fouda launched the campaign in the State University of Bamenda on December 3, 2012 with an appeal for the required age bracket of 1-29 years and pregnant women below 30 to massively file out and get vaccinated against the bacterial meningitis which is the most common and most deadly type of meningitis.

Conceived to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of inhabitants of both Regions, the campaign has fixed posts in health facilities and temporal fixed posts like palaces, schools, universities, places of worship, markets and prisons, among others, as venues.

The vaccine "MenAfricaVac" which is approved by the WHO to help reduce high death and morbidity rates within the African "meningitis belt" concerns the most vulnerable age bracket, 1-29 and pregnant women. The vaccine will protect beneficiaries for ten years during which they neither contract meningitis A nor transmit it. The vaccine also increases tetanus immunity and it is completely free of charge during the campaign. Health experts say that side effects are rare because it has been approved for mass vaccination and in the case of effects, there is standby medication to handle the situation.

Four regions of the North West, Adamawa, North and Far North are at risk of meningitis A within the belt that covers Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon. The launching event at Bambili was attended by some development partners and was also a rare moment for the Registrar of the University of Bamenda, Prof. Carl Mbofung to salute the attention and interest of the government to guarantee the health of youths, stressing that vaccination against meningitis is a requirement for the enrolment of students into the University of Bamenda.

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