Media Statement

12 May 2015

Outbreak of Meningitis in Niger and Benin

The Government and people of the Republic of South Africa learned of the growing outbreak of meningitis in Niger and Benin. We convey our solidarity to these two respective sisterly countries and also our condolences to everyone affected, particularly to the families and friends of the casualties of this epidemic in Niger.

The disease - an inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord – can cause death within hours and is highly contagious. The main region of occurrence is on the border between Benin and Niger and has already resulted in a substantial number of deaths.

South Africa noted the success with which both countries had dealt with this dreadful disease in the past and recognizes that currently there are challenges caused by a new strain of meningitis which doesn’t respond effectively to the available medication.

Both Niger and Benin have an immediate need for urgent assistance to combat this scourge and South Africa is exploring ways in which it could possibly assist in this regard

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974


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