Global Alert and Response (GAR)

2002 - Meningococcal disease in Democratic Republic of Congo - Update 2

15 February 2002

Disease Outbreak Reported

As of 2 January 2002, WHO has reported a total of 893 cases, including 104 deaths in Katana, Bukavu and Idjwi health zones, South-Kivu province since the onset of the outbreak in August 2001. Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A has been laboratory confirmed.  A  vaccination campaign has been undertaken in the affected area targetting those aged 2 to 30.  The vaccine has been provided by WHO/United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Médecins sans Frontières (MSF, Holland), the Ministry of Health Rwanda and the Ministry of Health Burundi.

Activities taken by the crisis committee to contain the outbreak have included case management in Katana, Bukavu and Idjwi health zones, raising awareness in the community and among health personnel, strengthened epidemiological surveillance, mobilization of human resources, funds and materials, and coordination and implementation of the vaccination campaign.

A total of 413 500 people were vaccinated with an overall vaccination coverage of around 70% with regional differences  (Katana, 72%, Idjwi, 87.5%, Bukavu 53%). In addition, a total of 6 700 vials of oily chloramphenicol were provided to the crisis committee by various partners (WHO/OCHA, MSF, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Ministry of Health Rwanda).

The number of newly reported cases is declining. However, the partners of the crisis committee continue to carry out enhanced surveillance activities, case management, health education and community mobilization.

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