NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
A new vaccine to contain
meningitis was launched on Thursday evening in Nairobi
as the debilitating bacterial disease threatens to break
out in the country’s northern counties amid biting
meningitis vaccine called Nimenrix was developed by
Pfizer, an American pharmaceutical giant and will
bolster efforts to eradicate the highly infectious
disease that is rampant in Kenya and 26 other
Achary, the head of Pfizer Vaccines in the Anglophone
region said Kenya became the first country in the region
to benefit from a meningitis vaccine that was developed
after rigorous scientific research.
is a critical intervention in healthcare like clean
water. The meningitis vaccine will therefore offer
long-term immunity against the disease to high risk
populations,” Achary said.
recorded sporadic Meningitis outbreaks fuelled by
droughts and displacement of populations in the northern
that Kenya’s vulnerability to a meningitis outbreak
remained higher in the light of escalating drought and
influx of refugees from endemic and strife torn
meningitis outbreak in Africa coincides with drought
hence the need for Kenyan authorities to take proactive
measures like mass vaccination, hygiene education and
intensive surveillance at border crossings,” said Achary.
that a partnership with the ministry of health will
facilitate distribution of the Meningitis vaccine to the
high risk counties.
Meningitis vaccine that was approved by global
regulatory agencies five years ago has proved to be an
effective tool of containing the bacterial disease which
impairs physical and neurological functions of patients.
Malande, Director of East African Centre for Vaccines
and Immunization said the Nimenrix vaccine has over 90
percent efficacy and will embolden other clinical
interventions to manage the disease.
people suppresses the meningitis bacteria to ensure it
does not develop to fatal stages. Available data
indicates Nimemrix vaccine has met the threshold of
safety and efficacy,” said Malande.
belongs to the Meningitis Belt that comprises 27
Sub-Saharan African countries.
Health Organization (WHO) contends that 1.2 million new
cases of Meningitis leading to 135,000 deaths are
reported annually across the globe.