Niger Schools Shut over Meningitis Outbreak

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All schools in and around Niger’s capital, Niamey, have been shut until Monday because of a meningitis outbreak that has killed 85 people this year.

A shortage of vaccines to treat the current strain has caused the outbreak to spread, the authorities say.

A campaign to vaccinate all children between two and 15 will begin on Friday, but only half of the 1.2m doses needed are currently available.

The prime minister has asked for help getting the remaining doses.

“For the rest of the needed vaccines, we are appealing to all our partners to come to our aid to supplement the stock of vaccine doses we direly need,”Brigi Rafini said on national television.

The authorities have warned people against using unauthorised vaccines, saying the doses might be for the wrong strain of the disease.

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