Emergencies preparedness, response

Meningococcal disease in Chad

From 29 December 2008 to 5 April, the Ministry of Health of Chad reported 922 suspected cases of meningococcal disease including 105 deaths (case-fatality rate: 11.4%). So far, three districts have crossed the epidemic threshold, including a district in the capital, N'Djamena, while five districts are on alert.

Thirty three specimens of cerebral spinal fluid have been found positive for Neisseria meningitidis serogroup W135 and 30 specimens for Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A, by latex, culture and PCR, suggesting that both serogroups are responsible for the epidemic.

The International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision for Epidemic Meningitis Control has provided 164,000 doses of trivalent ACW vaccine for a mass vaccination campaign in affected areas of Dourbali, Goundi and Pala district. Additionally, 704 300 doses of trivalent vaccine have been released this week, which will be used for an immunization campaign in the capital, planned to start next week.

WHO, UNICEF, Médecins sans Frontières and the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) are working with the Ministry of Health, Chad to implement vaccination campaigns as well as other emergency control measures, including case management and surveillance in neighbouring districts.