African meningitis belt
It consists of part of or all of (from West to East), the Gambia, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea. The "belt" has an estimated 300 million people in its total area. This region is not only prone to meningitis, but also very prone to epidemics such as malaria.
The most affected countries in the region are Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, and Niger. Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Niger were accountable for 65% of all cases in Africa. In major epidemics, the attack rate range is 100 to 800 people per 100,000. However, communities can have attack rates as high as 1000 per 100,000. During these epidemics, young children have the highest attack rates.
Impact and history
The meningitis in these regions has caused many deaths every year at an estimated economic cost of huge amounts of money.
The burden of having a large population of people who carry meningitis has had a huge social and economic impact on entire countries.
The Meningitis Vaccine Project was conceived in 2001 as an effort to stop the spread of meningitis in this region. As of June 2011, reports projected that the meningitis in this region would be under control with efficiency that local governments had desired.