Meningitis has killed more than 2 500 people this year in West and Central Africa in what could become the worst epidemic for five years, UNICEF said. Meningitis is an infection of the thin lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Infection rates in Africa rise during the dry and hot period from January to May and the meningitis belt stretching from Senegal to Ethiopia is especially prone. UNICEF said in a statement that in the year to April 5, 2 519 people had died of meningitis in Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad, out of a total of 47 310 cases.
New vaccines have sharply reduced the number of children paralyzed by polio and raised hopes that a 5 billion campaign to wipe it out may be close to success, a top public health official said in an interview.
Four children in the southern African country of Angola have been infected with polio, but the number of cases around the world has been cut in half so far this year, the U.N. health agency said Friday.
Pharmacists have been receiving a number of queries about the current outbreak of wild poliovirus 1 in Namibia. Please remember that for more information you are welcome to phone the Amayeza Drug Information Centre on (011) 678-2332.
By Brigitte Stark-Merklein. LUANDA, Angola, 21 June 2006 With excitement about the 2006 FIFA World Cup at a peak, Angolan star players are among the most recognizable role models here, inspiring a sense of achievement much appreciated in this war-ravaged country.