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Cote d'Ivoire: Unprepared to respond fully to meningitis threat

Some 172 cases of meningitis have been reported in Cote d'Ivoire and 44 deaths since the beginning of January, but with only 400,000 vaccines available for the one million people at risk and health staff poorly prepared to deal with a meningitis epidemic, a wider crisis is feared.

Health staff are “not well-trained” in predicting and responding to meningitis outbreaks in Cote d'Ivoire, said Mamadou Guingaré, an epidemiologist at the World Health Organization's Multidisease Control Centre in Burkina Faso, which means officials “do not know for certain” the full extent of the problem.

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