A new meningitis outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

A new meningitis outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Melanie Parker – PHAA Intern


Two weeks ago, I wrote about meningitis and the forthcoming World Health Organization (WHO) Defeating Meningitis Road Map. The announcement on 8 September 2021 that there has been an outbreak of bacterial meningitis in the Tshopo province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a stark reminder that this disease can strike fast with serious health, economic and social consequences; it also causes devastating epidemics.

As of 8 September, hundreds of people in the DRC are infected with this disease which is currently fatal for fifty percent of the individuals who contract it. This is of major concern due to the devastating impact on individuals, and the potential for the outbreak to spread to neighbouring provinces (WHO is currently assisting the DRC to contain the outbreak).

WHO and partners believe elimination of meningitis in all countries is achievable, and have set out the path in a new plan – by urgently expanding access to existing tools like vaccines worldwide, spearheading new research and innovation, and improving access to rehabilitation for those affected. The launch of the Defeating Meningitis by 2030: A Global Road Map will be live streamed on Tuesday 28 September 2021 (from 11pm AEST).


Photo credit: WHO Regional Office for Africa

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