A Huge Success for Global Health: Meningitis Vaccine Project
Africa, for many years, has suffered meningitisepidemics that routinely kills thousands of people. Meningitis is caused by meningococcal bacterium which spread fast when there is close contact with infected individuals. The disease is most common in 22 sub-Saharan Africa countries labeled the Meningitis Belt. 1996 is recorded as the worst year in the history of the spread of meningitis. However, the WHO was tasked to find a vaccine for the disease. Many pharmaceutical companies declined to engage in this project but, eventually, Serum Bio-Pharma Park in India accepted to produce quality vaccine at less than $ 0.50 per dose. After a successful processing period, the vaccine was launched in Burkina Faso. In a span of ten days, 99 percent of the population between one and 29 years had been reached. This has resulted in a successful fight against Meningitis in Africa (Gates Foundation, 2012).
Success in this project was dependent on the use a community-based approach. One of the ways in which the Bill Gates Foundation used to reach the populations was through the local health workers who went door to door offering vaccines to people. With this, the whole target population was met hence achieving one of the highest success rates in the sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, it appears like the community leaders initiated communication with the other countrymen. This ensured that there was a huge turn up of individuals who took on the vaccine to prevent any more occurrence of meningitis in the Meningitis Belt countries.
Gates Foundation (2012, June 14). A Huge Success for Global Health. YOUTUBE. 2017, April 24, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZMiYTZpQUQ&feature=youtu.be.