The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reported an increase of meningococcal meningitis cases during the first week of August, according to their Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin.
Increasing numbers of meningitis cases are being reported from Amhara, Gambella, Oromia, SNNP and Tigray regions. 26 cases were reported from Amhara and SNNP regions in the first week of August alone.
WHO procured 200,000 doses of meningitis vaccines in response to this increase in cases and for the upcoming meningitis epidemic season.
The meningitis epidemic season begins in October. Ethiopia is one of the countries in the WHO African meningitis belt, a region in sub-Saharan Africa stretching from Senegal in West Africa to the Horn of Africa where the incidence rate of meningitis is very high. Outbreaks of meningococcal meningitis are reported in the African meningitis belt each year during the hot, dry season, between December and June.
Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A is said to be the most commonly isolated pathogen in the African meningitis belt. However, outbreaks have also been caused by other N. meningitidis serogroups, such as serogroup C. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page