September 09, 2021

Meningitis Breaks Out in DRC

More than 120 people have died following an outbreak of meningitis in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) northeastern region.

On Wednesday, 8 September, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that more than 250 suspected meningitis cases have been reported in Tshopo Province – out of that total, at least 129 people have passed away.

Per medical data gleaned from samples sent to the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France, this respiratory disease is caused by the Neisseria meningitidis bacteria. Resultantly, those affected suffer from headaches, fever and vomiting, among other symptoms. However, it can be fatal if left untreated.

The deaths have been attributed to the communities’ reported “unresponsive nature” to seeking treatment.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, says that the organisation is providing medical supplies and resources to Banalia and Kisangani, where crisis response committees have been established.

He said: “We are moving fast, delivering medicines and deploying experts to support the [DRC] government’s efforts to bring the outbreak under control in the shortest possible time.”