Epidemiology of meningococcal meningitis in Angola, 1994–2000
We describe six meningococcal disease outbreaks that occurred in Angola during the period 1994–2000. In total, 7140 cases were documented. The age groups most affected were 15–29 years and 5–14 years; there were no differences in incidence between the sexes. Circulation of both serogroup A and sporadic serogroup B strains was demonstrated. Mass vaccination campaigns with A+C meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine were implemented, except in Yambala province in 1999 where insecure conditions precluded this intervention.
Outbreaks of serogroup A meningococcal disease in Angola may indicate an extension of these epidemics outside the meningitis belt. Mass vaccination campaigns stopped the Angolan epidemics within weeks. Civil conflict and displaced persons living in crowded areas created serious difficulties for surveillance and impeded timely public health responses.(Accepted July 28 2001)
c1 Author for correspondence: CIRPS (Italian Co-operation), c/o Italian Embassy, Rua dos Enganos, P.O. Box 6220, Luanda, Angola.