To establish a regional surveillance consortium to support decisions about the use and impact of meningitis vaccines across sub-Saharan Africa.
- Leverage the strengths of existing surveillance capacity in the region using standardized laboratory and data collection tools
- Develop innovative systems to collect and analyze high quality data to answer critical questions and promote data-driven policy decisions
- Use the consortium as a platform for regional collaboration and scientific studies
In MenAfriNet countries in 2017, 89 percent of suspected meningitis cases had a specimen that was collected, transported, and tested at a national reference laboratory. By way of comparison, in 2012 the rate of specimen collection among suspected meningitis cases in Burkina Faso and Mali was 11 percent.²⋅³
MenAfriNet surveillance detected and confirmed a cluster of serogroup A cases in Burkina Faso in 2014-2015, including the first (and so far, only) documented MenAfriVac® vaccine failure. These findings resulted in an expedited introduction of MenAfriVac® into Burkina Faso’s routine immunization program in 2016.⁴
In 2015, in response to a large serogroup C outbreak in Niger, MenAfriNet deployed 15 technical partners, a mobile laboratory, and a high-throughput laboratory diagnostic tool and funded 13 short-term national staff. This surge capacity enabled timely laboratory confirmation and facilitated mobilization of reactive vaccination campaigns to protect 1.2 million people from serogroup C meningitis.⁵
The African meningitis belt. Image credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1. Bwaka A, Bita A, Lingani C, et al. Status of the rollout of the meningococcal serogroup A conjugate vaccine in African meningitis belt countries in 2018. J Infect Dis 2019; 220(Suppl 4):S140–7.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012). "Evaluation of meningitis surveillance before introduction of serogroup a meningococcal conjugate vaccine - Burkina Faso and Mali." MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 61(50): 1025-1028.
3. 2018 MenAfriNet Surveillance Feedback Bulletin. www.menafrinet.org.
4. Diallo AO, Soeters HM, Yaméogo I et al. Bacterial meningitis epidemiology and return of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A cases in Burkina Faso in the five years following MenAfriVac mass vaccination campaign. PloS one 2017;12:e0187466.
5. Sidikou F, Zaneidou M, Alkassoum I et al. Emergence of epidemic Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C in Niger, 2015: an analysis of national surveillance data. Lancet Infect Dis 2016;16:1288-1294.