MENINGITIS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     17th April 2024        

Context: Nigeria has taken a historic step in the fight against meningitis, becoming the first country in the world to introduce a new, highly effective vaccine.


  • About: It is a serious infection or inflammation of the meninges, the three-membrane thin lining over the brain and spinal cord.
  • Cause: It can be caused by several species of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.
  • Symptoms: Neck stiffness, fever, confusion or altered mental status, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Less frequent symptoms include seizures, coma, and neurological deficits like hearing or vision loss, cognitive impairment, etc.
  • Transmission: Meningococcus, pneumococcus, and Haemophilus influenzae reside in the human nose and throat and are transmitted through respiratory droplets or throat secretions.
  • Group B streptococcus, typically found in the human gut or vagina, can be transmitted from mother to child during childbirth.
  • Vaccination: The primary prevention method for bacterial meningitis is through vaccination, which is available for Meningococcus, Pneumococcus, and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).

Men5CV Vaccine.

  • Highly Effective Protection: The Men5CV vaccine, endorsed by the WHO, confers immunity against five meningococcal strains (A, C, W, Y, and X) with a single dose, enhancing its efficacy.
  • Broad Spectrum Coverage: Unlike previous vaccines limited to strain A, Men5CV offers comprehensive protection against all five major meningitis-causing strains, preventing both meningitis and blood poisoning.
  • Significance for Nigeria: As one of Africa's 26 hyper-endemic countries for meningitis, Nigeria's adoption of Men5CV aligns with WHO's ambitious target of eradicating meningitis by 2030.
  • Support for WHO's Goals: Nigeria's initiative supports the overarching goal of the WHO to eliminate meningitis globally, contributing to collective efforts in public health.