In September 2022, the Regional Director for AFRO, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, launched the ambitious new ‘Regional Framework to Defeat Meningitis in Africa by 2030’ and called on countries to ramp up implementation of the roadmap ahead of the next seasonal outbreak of meningitis in January 2023.
Despite the near elimination of meningitis type A on the continent, the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has left the region facing a heightened risk of seasonal outbreaks of the bacterial infection. The pandemic delayed meningitis vaccinations for more than 50 million children and severely disrupted meningitis prevention and control services.
The new regional framework sets out a roadmap for countries to shore up diagnosis, surveillance, care, advocacy and vaccination to eliminate meningitis outbreaks, curb deaths by 70% and halve infections. WHO estimates that US$ 1.5 billion will be required between now and 2030 to implement the plan. If fully adopted, the plan will save more than 140,000 lives every year in the region and significantly reduce disability.