Global Alert and Response (GAR)

2002 - Meningococcal disease in the Great Lakes area (Burundi, Rwanda)

23 August 2002

Disease Outbreak Reported

Burundi: The Ministry of Health of Burundi has reported 269 cases and 30 deaths (case-fatality rate of 11%) in Ngozi ,Muyinga, Kirundo provinces from 6 July 2002.  Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A has been confirmed in 15 out of 29 samples* tested.  WHO is working with the Ministry of Health, in coordination with other international agencies, including UNICEF, International Committee of the Red Cross, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), and Handicap International to coordinate the response. A vaccination campaign is planned for the entire province of Muyinga and for the affected areas in Ngozi and Kirundo provinces.

Rwanda: The Ministry of Health, Rwanda has reported 111 cases and 20 deaths in Butare province from 24 June 2002 and 62 cases and 7 deaths in Kibungo province from 31 July. A vaccination campaign has begun in Butare (244 000 people vaccinated) and is planned for Kibungo. WHO, UNICEF and MSF-Belgium are providing additional vaccine.

United Republic of Tanzania: WHO has received reports of 90 suspected cases and 4 deaths in 2 camps, Nduta and Karago, in Kibondo district from 1 July 2002. The International Rescue Committee and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees are assisting the Tanzanian Ministry of Health with surveillance and case management.

*this updates the previous information of 6 out of 8 samples

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