woman holding meningitis vaccine Albert González Farran/ UNAMID via Flikr

Уничтожить менингит в Африке

СИЭТЛ – Прогресс Африки в борьбе с менингитом A является одним из наиболее хорошо охраняемых секретов в вопросах всемирного здравоохранения. Благодаря разработке и применению недорогой вакцины, были спасены жизни сотен тысяч детей, и многие города и деревни, которые могли быть опустошены болезнью, сегодня процветают.

Менингококковый менингит А ‑ это бактериальная инфекция тонкой оболочки, окружающей мозговой и спинной мозг, и эта болезнь может быть смертельной. Больше века эпидемии проносились по 26 странам Африки к югу от Сахары, убивая и калеча ежегодно десятки тысяч людей, прежде всего молодежи. Эту болезнь очень боятся на африканском континенте; она в течение нескольких часов может убить или искалечить людей, нанеся тяжелые повреждения головного мозга.

Вспышки этой болезни обычно происходят в начале календарного года, когда сухие ветры из пустыни Сахара поворачивают на юг. Эпидемия 1996-1997 годов привела более чем к 250 000 случаям заболеваний и к 25 000 смертельным исходам в странах Африки к югу от Сахары, многие из пострадавших ‑ дети. Из тех, кто выжил, каждый четвертый получил постоянную инвалидность из-за таких болезней, как паралич, слепота, потеря слуха, эпилептические припадки и повреждения головного мозга.

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