1999 - Meningitis in Rwanda
20 October 1999
Disease Outbreak Reported
An outbreak of suspected cerebrospinal meningitis has been reported in the areas of Kayenzi, Nyabikenke and Rutobwe (Gitarama and Kigali Rural prefectures). Health centres recorded 29 cases between 1 September and 6 October, and 11 deaths. In addition to these, 33 suspect deaths which did not occur in health centres have been reported in the affected areas. Neisseria meningitidis sensitive to chloramphenicol and ampicillin has been isolated in 2 samples.
An estimated population of around 40 000 is considered to be at risk, and the Ministry of Health has organized an immunization campaign with the support of WHO, as well as providing health centres with supplies of oily chloramphenicol and ampicillin sufficient to treat all cases. New supplies of drugs and vaccines are being procured with the help of WHO and UNICEF. The situation is currently under control, and the numbers of cases and deaths are decreasing.