The blog of Bill Gates
gatesnotes
The blog of Bill Gates

The MenAfriVac Vaccine: an Amazing Success Story in Global Health

Log in
Sign up
 
GO
Your search for "", with selected filters, does not match any posts. Please try again with a different search term or reset filters.

Popular searches include: Books, Malaria, and Future of Food.
RELATED ARTICLES ON
Logout:


spacer
Become a Gates Notes Insider
Join the Gates Notes community to comment on stories, access exclusive content, participate in giveaways, and more.
Already an Insider? Log in
spacer
LOG IN
SIGN UP
Sign up with your social account:
Sign up
Sign up
Or sign up with email:
TITLE
FIRST NAME
LAST NAME
EMAIL
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
PASSWORD
ADDRESS
Why are we collecting this information? Gates Notes may send a welcome note or other exclusive Insider mail from time to time. Additionally, some campaigns and content may only be available to users in certain areas. Gates Notes will never share and distribute your information with external parties.
Bill may send you a welcome note or other exclusive Insider mail from time to time. We will never share your information.
ADDRESS LINE 1
Bill may send you a welcome note or other exclusive Insider mail from time to time. We will never share your information.
ADDRESS LINE 2
CITY
STATE / PROVINCE / REGION
ZIP / POSTAL CODE
COUNTRY
Sign up
Join the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, subscribe to your favorite topics and more. We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign Up FAQ. By clicking "Sign Up" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
Street address
City
postal_town
State Zip code
administrative_area_level_2
Country
Data
Personal Information
Title
First name
Last name
Save
Cancel
Email address
This email is already registered
Save
Cancel
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Password
Save
Cancel
Address
ADDRESS LINE 1
ADDRESS LINE 2
CITY
STATE / PROVINCE / REGION
ZIP / POSTAL CODE
COUNTRY
Save
Cancel
Email & Notification Settings
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
Send me comment notifications via email
On-screen comment notifications
Interests
+ Saving Lives
+ Energy Innovation
+ Improving Education
+ Alzheimer's
+ Philanthropy
+ Book Reviews
+ About Bill Gates
Deactivate Account
Click the link below to begin the account deactivation process. Deactivate account If you want to permanently delete your account and remove its content, please send us a request here.
Ok
Gates Notes Insider Sign Up FAQ

Q. How do I create a Gates Notes account?

A. There are three ways you can create a Gates Notes account:

  • Sign up with Facebook. We’ll never post to your Facebook account without your permission.
  • Sign up with Twitter. We’ll never post to your Twitter account without your permission.
  • Sign up with your email. Enter your email address during sign up. We’ll email you a link for verification.

Q. Will you ever post to my Facebook or Twitter accounts without my permission?

A. No, never.

Q. How do I sign up to receive email communications from my Gates Notes account?

A. In Account Settings, click the toggle switch next to “Send me updates from Bill Gates.”

Q. How will you use the Interests I select in Account Settings?

A. We will use them to choose the Suggested Reads that appear on your profile page.

spacer
BACK
Forgot your password?
Enter the email you used to sign up and a reset password link will be sent to you.
EMAIL
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
Reset Password
Bill's Suggested Posts
I've read this book
Books to Read
Reset your password.
Set New Password
Your password has been reset. You will now be redirected to the sign in page, or you can click here
Ok
Get emails from Bill Gates
Send me updates from Bill
You must provide an email
Send me comment notifications via email
On-screen comment notifications
This email is already registered
Continue
We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign up FAQ. By clicking "Continue" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
spacer
You're in!
Please check your email and click the link provided to verify your account.
Didn't get an email from us? Resend verification email
spacer
Update Your Profile Information
UPLOAD A PROFILE PICTURE
your image
Uh Oh!
The image you are trying to upload is either too big or is an unacceptable format. Please upload a .jpg or .png image that is under 25MB.
Ok
Title
First name
Last name
Save
Cancel
Email address
This email is already registered
Save
Cancel
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
EMAIL AND NOTIFICATION SETTINGS
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
Send me comment notifications via email
On-screen comment notifications
SELECT YOUR INTERESTS
+ Saving Lives
+ Energy Innovation
+ Improving Education
+ Alzheimer's
+ Philanthropy
+ Book Reviews
+ About Bill Gates
Continue
Confirm Account Deactivation
Are you sure you want to deactivate your account?
Deactivating your account will unsubscribe you from Gates Notes emails, and will remove your profile and account information from public view on the Gates Notes. Please allow for 24 hours for the deactivation to fully process. You can sign back in at any time to reactivate your account and restore its content.
Deactivate My Acccount
Go Back
Your Gates Notes account has been deactivated.
Come back anytime.
Welcome back
In order to unsubscribe you will need to sign-in to your Gates Notes Insider account
Once signed in just go to your Account Settings page and set your subscription options as desired.
Sign In
Request account deletion
We’re sorry to see you go. Your request may take a few days to process; we want to double check things before hitting the big red button. Requesting an account deletion will permanently remove all of your profile content. If you’ve changed your mind about deleting your account, you can always hit cancel and deactivate instead.
Submit
Cancel
Thank You! Your request has been sent
Please complete your account verification. Resend verification email.
This verification token has expired.
Your email address has been verified. Update my profile.
Your account has been deactivated. Sign up to re-activate your account.
View all newsletters in the newsletter archive
You are now unsubscribed from receiving emails.
Sorry, we were unable to unsubscribe you at this time.

Thanks for visiting the Gates Notes.
We'd like your feedback.

Yes, I'll take the survey No thanks
The blog of Bill Gates
The MenAfriVac Vaccine: an Amazing Success Story in Global Health
Follow
Next
 
Profile & Settings
Sign Out
Profile & Settings
Sign Out
Hello,
Profile & Settings
Comment History
Sign Out
Please complete your account verification. Resend verification email.
today
This verification token has expired.
today
Your email address has been verified. Update my profile.
today
Your account has been deactivated. Sign up to re-activate your account.
today
View all newsletters in the newsletter archive
today
You are now unsubscribed from receiving emails.
today
Sorry, we were unable to unsubscribe you at this time.
today
0
0
0
Please complete your account verification. Resend verification email.
today
This verification token has expired.
today
Your email address has been verified. Update my profile.
today
Your account has been deactivated. Sign up to re-activate your account.
today
View all newsletters in the newsletter archive
today
You are now unsubscribed from receiving emails.
today
Sorry, we were unable to unsubscribe you at this time.
today
Back to profile
Comment History
You have not left any comments yet.
title
in reply to
name
description
It looks like you're using an older version of Internet Explorer which may not display all the features on this site. Upgrade Now » close
Low Cost, High Yields

The MenAfriVac Vaccine: an Amazing Success Story in Global Health

Since Melinda and I first got involved in philanthropy, we’ve learned a lot about how to make the foundation’s investments more strategic and impactful.

We focus on problems that affect the most people with the most urgent needs, and on filling gaps that others can’t. We look for opportunities to use science and technology to create breakthroughs. And we work collaboratively with others to help create scalable, sustainable solutions.

Even after you’ve done all the analysis, though, you can never say with absolute certainty how things are going to go. But as we approach the second anniversary of the launch of a vaccine that is finally taming meningitis across Sub-Saharan Africa, I’ve been thinking that it’s a great example of when all of the pieces fall into place.

For more than 100 years, devastating waves of meningitis swept every few years through the 26 countries that have come to be known as the meningitis belt. Each time, the epidemics left death, disability, and financial disaster behind. Meningitis is caused by the inflamation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.

It would strike the young most often and could kill within hours. Without antibiotics, 50 percent of those infected would die. Even with antibiotics, one in 10 people wouldn’t survive two days. Among remaining survivors, one in every four was left with a permanent impairment—ranging from mental retardation, seizures, paralysis to hearing loss or an infection requiring the amputation of a limb.

After the largest meningitis epidemic wave ever recorded swept across Africa in 1996 and 1997—infecting a quarter of a million people and killing 25,000—African health ministers were desperate for an alternative to the existing polysaccharide vaccine, which provided only short-term relief after outbreaks occurred and could not reduce the risk of future epidemics.  

In 2001, our foundation funded a 10-year partnership between the World Health Organization and Seattle-based PATH to develop an affordable, new vaccine that experts hoped would last longer and do a better job of interrupting transmission of the disease. Over the next decade, a remarkable collaboration grew to include many private sector and public sector partners.

In December 2010, the new MenAfriVac vaccine was introduced in three countries: Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. Mothers queued up early with their children, fearful that health workers would run out of the vaccine. They need not have worried. In four weeks, a remarkable 20 million people were vaccinated.

The results are as good as we hoped for. Innovative science and technology led to development of a vaccine at less than one-tenth the cost of a typical new vaccine. Strategic partnerships were also key to delivering an affordable, sustainable vaccine and getting it quickly to people most in need.

In Burkina Faso, a country which reported 40,000 meningitis cases in 2006 and 2007, 12 million people were vaccinated. Since 2010, there have been no new cases of Meningitis A reported among vaccinated populations.

Over the next three months, another 50 million people in seven countries will receive the MenAfriVac vaccine, bringing to nearly 100 million the number of people who have received it in just two years.

There is still a lot of work left to do. Hundreds of millions more people in Sub-Saharan Africa still need to be vaccinated. But for those spared the suffering of future meningitis epidemics—and for those of us working to eliminate disease and reduce poverty—the MenAfriVac vaccine is a reminder of why aid matters and the impact we can achieve working together.

Want to learn more?

Also on Gates Notes