08 October 2012. El Daein: A child receives a vaccination against the meningitis at the community center in Al Neem camp for Internally Displaced People in El Daein, East Darfur.
A massive vaccination campaign, organized by the Governement of Sudan and the World Health Organization (WHO) against meningococcal A meningitis started this month targeting 16.9 million children and adults, ranging from 1 to 29 years, in all Darfur states, Blue Nile, Khartoum, Gezira, Sennar and Gedaref. The rest of Sudan will be vaccinated during the first quarter of 2013.
The vaccine protects children as young as one year of age and young adults, and confers immunity that may last a decade. It reduces transmission and contributes to herd immunity, meaning that even people who were not vaccinated receive some protection.
WHO estimates that the vaccine is expected to reduce cases of meningitis A between 80% and 85%, and this is valid for Sudan as well, and will save nearly 150 000 young lives in the Meningitis belt countries by 2015.
Photo by Albert González Farran – UNAMID