Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Meningococcal disease in Uganda

24 January 2007

From 1 January to 21 January 2007, the Ministry of Health has reported 241 suspected cases including 16 deaths (case-fatality rate, 6.6%) in Arua/ Maracha-Terego, Koboko, and Yumbe districts, an area bordering South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The population in the affected districts consists of both refugees and nationals living in rural, densely populated settlements. Three cerebrospinal fluid specimens have tested positive for Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A by latex test.

Case management has been initiated, community mobilization and education are ongoing, and surveillance is being strengthened to ensure early case detection and monitoring of the epidemic. A vaccination campaign is being prepared, targeting 334 124 people in the affected area. The Ministry of Health is planning to request 400 950 doses of bivalent meningococcal vaccine (A/C) from the International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision for Epidemic Meningitis Control, along with injection materials, oily chloramphenicol, transport media, and rapid-test kits.

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