Global Alert and Response (GAR)

2002 - Meningococcal disease in Somalia - Update

18 January 2002

Disease Outbreak Reported

As of 16 January, the Ministry of Health, Somalia has reported a total of 144 cases including 33 deaths since the outbreak began in early October 2001. N. meningitidis serogroup A has been laboratory confirmed in 64 cases by  the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Meningococci, National Institute of Public Health, Oslo.

A crisis committee has been set up by the Ministry of Health, the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS), Médecins sans Frontières, UNICEF and WHO. The surveillance system has been strengthened and preparations for a mass vaccination campaign which is to begin on 19 January are under way. Social mobilization activities are in place, including the dissemination of messages through the mass media.

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