Meningitis A is a bacterial infection that inflames the lining of the brain and spinal cord and can lead to deafness, brain damage, or death. In the 26 sub-Saharan African countries that comprise Africa’s “meningitis belt”—an area spanning The Gambia to Ethiopia—epidemics strike during the dry season, killing and disabling tens of thousands. With the introduction of a new vaccine, cases are declining.
The Shefa Fund, with guidance from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, made the bold decision to become an early supporter of a new, innovative vaccine to prevent meningitis A. Today, MenAfriVac (vaccine) is highly effective and tailor-made for preventing meningitis A in Africa. The Shefa Fund’s support was pivotal to the early success of the vaccine roll-out, which ultimately reached more than 270 million people across the region.
incinerators purchased to safely dispose of used syringes
vaccination cards printed in Nigeria
The Shefa Fund’s $2.45 million grant to the WHO supported the introduction of MenAfriVac in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sudan, and The Gambia.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is a part of the United Nations. The agency focuses on international public health, with the aim of building a better, healthier future for people all over the world.
1 Banner, 2 Combating Meningitis A, 3 & 4 Granting | Photo Credit Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
5 Granting | Photo Credit Frederic Courbet