Global vaccine experts and officials from all 26 African "meningitis belt" countries will convene in Ethiopia next week in advance of the Ministerial Conference on Immunization to celebrate one of Africa's biggest public health achievements--the introduction of a vaccine that in five years of use has protected more than 235 million people in 16 countries, nearly eliminating meningitis A disease on the continent.
With this "stunning success," high-ranking government officials and experts behind the MenAfriVac® vaccine will be available to discuss, on 22 February, what is now required to sustain this success, and which countries have already taken steps to start integrating the vaccine into their national childhood immunization programs. A recent study found that if no subsequent immunization program was implemented after a large one-off vaccination campaign, countries could expect to see epidemics come roaring back after approximately 15 years.
Members of the media are invited to interview experts, as well as attend sessions of the Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP) Closure Conference, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international global health nonprofit PATH. Sessions include a keynote on the project's lifeline and highlights, the development of the vaccine, and its introduction.
WHAT:Media Availability, Expert Sessions and Lunch
Steve Davis, President and CEO, PATH
Dr. Marc LaForce, former leader of the Meningitis Vaccine Project
Dr. Marie-Pierre Preziosi, Medical Officer at the World Health Organization and former leader of the Meningitis Vaccine Project
Other experts TBA
WHEN:Monday, 22 February, 2016
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM: Reporters invited to attend conference opening session
12:30 - 1:30 PM: Lunch
Experts available for interviews by request throughout the day
WHERE:Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia