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Nigeria starts vaccine drive to stop meningitis outbreak

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Staff Writer | April 5, 2017
Nigeria vaccination
Africa   The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control

Health workers in Nigeria on Wednesday began a mass vaccination programme to try to halt a mass outbreak of meningitis that has killed nearly 340 people since late last year.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said there had been 2,997 suspected cases of the disease in 16 states as of April 3, with 336 deaths.

"Right now, vaccinators are in the field in Zamfara state administering doses of vaccine to contain the spread of the disease," Lawal Bakare, from the agency, told AFP.

Zamfara, in northwest Nigeria, and the neighbouring states of Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi and Niger have been hit hardest by the disease which broke out in November.

Most of the dead are children aged five to 14. Bakare said 500,000 doses of vaccines would be distributed in the worst-hit states and an additional 823,970 doses were expected to arrive from Britain for use elsewhere.

In Zamfara alone, some three million doses are required.


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