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Meningitis vaccination campaign set for Nov 28

Nov 20, 2013, 10:16 AM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

The Gambia is gearing up for a meningitis campaign starting from 28 November to 4 December 2013.

The information was revealed to journalists by officials from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare during a press conference held at the Central Medical Health Store in Kotu.

Modou Njie, director of Health Promotions under the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, told journalists that come 28 November to 4 December 2013 The Gambia will join the rest of the world to roll out the vaccination campaign against meningitis in the country.

He went further to say The Gambia lies on the meningitis belt thus each year the country experiences cases of meningitis.

As a response to this situation, reactive vaccination campaigns have been organised, he said, adding that vaccine used only now gives protection for only 3 years.

For prolonged protection, director Njie added that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and its partners are organizing a preventive mass vaccination campaign with a new vaccine called MenAfriVac.

This is a new vaccine that has been tested in The Gambia, Mali, Senegal and some parts of Asia. The vaccine gives a ten-year protection against meningitis A for the target group 1 to 29 years.

It will also protect the non-vaccinated population through the collective immunity as well as to reduce the quantity of bacteria in the nose and throat.

The vaccination campaign will be based at fixed locations such as village bantabas, market places, community centres, schools, health centres and crossing points.

According to him, all persons between 1 to 29 years of age, including pregnant women are to be vaccinated using only one injection at the left upper arm.