Emergencies preparedness, response

Meningococcal disease in Sudan

21 November 2006

From 1 September to 8 November 2006, 231 suspected cases and 16 deaths of meningococcal disease have been reported in Greater Yei County, Central Equatorial State of South Sudan.

The epidemic threshold was crossed in this county during the last week of October. Five cerebral spinal fluid specimens have tested positive for Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A by latex test.

An outbreak investigation was conducted by the Ministry of the Central Equatorial State with the support of WHO's Early Warning and Response Network (EWARN) team and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A national multisectoral task force established earlier this year which includes county health authorities, UNICEF, WHO and nongovernmental organizations is coordinating the outbreak response.

Enhanced surveillance, case management, and social mobilization are underway, as well as the preparation of a vaccination campaign targeting c.294,000 people in the affected area.