Meningitis outbreak in DRC with 50 percent fatality ratio: 129 known deaths

Meningitis outbreak in DRC with 50 percent fatality ratio: 129 known deaths

Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is blighted by countless ethnic and religious issues, including recent massacres committed by the Islamist terrorist group the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). Two recent massacres by the ADF include hacking people to death in the province of North Kivu. Therefore, with countless major health issues also blighting the country – and absolute poverty and weak infrastructure – the latest news of a major outbreak of meningitis typifies the endless problems the DRC faces.

Reports coming out of the Tshopo Province specify that a major meningitis outbreak is occurring. The latest figures specify the deaths of 129 people out of 261 suspected cases. Hence, a virtual 50 percent fatality death ratio is extremely concerning.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports, “Confirmatory tests carried out by the Institut Pasteur in Paris detected Neisseria meningitidis – one of the most frequent types of bacterial meningitis with the potential to cause large epidemics.”

Throat secretions or respiratory droplets from people infected with meningitis enable transmissions to occur. Henceforth, transmissions occur within families, friends, at work, and other close contact settings.

United Nations News reports, “More than 1.6 million people aged between 1 and 29 years were vaccinated during an extensive campaign in 2016 in Tshopo, which lies in the African meningitis belt that runs across the continent from Senegal to Ethiopia and comprises 26 countries.” 

The WHO team in the DRC is stepping up control measures in the location of concern. Hence, it is hoped that the WHO – and internal health care systems – will be able to curtail the threat of widespread meningitis infections. Therefore, time is of the essence.

Overall, the DRC is blighted by major health-related issues. This includes cholera, Covid-19, Ebola, HIV/AIDS, intestinal parasites, malaria, measles, the Plague, tuberculosis, and other serious health concerns.


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