Meningitis and measles have killed 41 people in Yobe State, Nigeria in the past 18 months. In 2010, 322 cases of Cerebrospinal Meningitis were recorded with 22 fatalities. This year, through May, another 51 cases and 4 more deaths were reported, for a total toll of 26 deaths.
Measles caused 7 deaths out of 464 cases in 2010, whereas in the current year it caused 3,022 cases and 8 deaths so far, for a total of 15 measles deaths.
Officials with state health departments have procured drugs on measles, meningitis and other diseases and that they had already been distributed to the six epidemiological zonal offices in the state. They have also embarked on a campaign against overcrowding, personal and environmental hygiene, which contribute to disease spread.
According to data from the World Health Organization (pick Nigeria from the country list) it appears the measles vaccine has been available in the country since the 8os, however uptake has been very low until the year 2006, at which time measles vaccine coverage for the first dose reached 99%. No data is available for second dose coverage.
Tellingly, while the previous years had recorded cases in the hundreds of thousands, 2006 saw only 704 cases. As immunization rates went down in 2007 and 2008, to 86% and 68% respectively, cases went up to 2,613 and 9,960 respectively, yet another example in a long list of countries where proper vaccination rates have led to dramatic decreases in disease incidence.