A meningitis outbreak that began earlier this month at the Yaounde Central Prison in Kondengui has grown to about two dozen cases in a matter of about four weeks.


As of 24 March 2017, a total of 23 suspected/confirmed cases including 9 deaths (case fatality rate of 39%) have been reported. While majority of the affected people were prisoners, 5 suspected cases came from the surrounding community in the affected district.

Outbreak investigation conducted by the Ministry of Health obtained 11 cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) samples, 5 of which tested positive for Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) sero-group Y/W135 by rapid diagnostic test. Subsequent bacteriological culture isolated Nm W135 from two samples, thus confirming the outbreak.

WHO supported the Ministry of Health to secure 7,079 doses of ACYW tetravalent meningitis vaccine from the International Coordinating Group (ICG), targeting 6,436 persons. Preparation for reactive meningitis vaccination campaign is being finalized.

Since the outbreak occurred in a closed setting, chemoprophylaxis was administered to 4,007 close contacts.