Emergencies preparedness, response

Meningococcal disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

2 February 2007

From 1 January to 31 January 2007, the Ministry of Health has reported 53 suspected cases including 6 deaths (case-fatality rate, 11.3%) in Adi health zone, Province Orientale, in the north-eastern part of the country, bordering Uganda. Two cerebrospinal fluid specimens have tested positive for Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A by latex test.

A vaccination campaign targeting 99 400 people is being prepared and will be synchronized with Uganda, which is currently experiencing an outbreak of meningococcal disease in the neighbouring area. The International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision for Epidemic Meningitis Control has agreed to provide 115 830 doses of bivalent meningococcal vaccine (A/C) along with injection materials and oily chloramphenicol.

WHO and Médecins sans Frontières, Switzerland are working with the Ministry of Health to contain the outbreak. Case management, community education and strengthened surveillance are continuing.