Tthe fight against meningitis is lagging behind the progress against other diseases that can be prevented by the vaccine, the study warned.
In 2016, there were over 2.8 million cases of meningitis, and nearly 320,000 people died of this disease – a decrease of 21% since 1990 – according to an analysis published in Lancet neurology.
However, although this reduction is positive, it is compared with the advances in other vaccine-preventable diseases: deaths caused by stunning, tetanus and diarrhea fell by 93 percent, 90 percent and 58 percent during the same period.
Meningitis is inflammation of the meninge – protective membranes around the brain and the spinal cord – although it can affect anyone, this is most common in babies, children and adolescents.
If it is not recognized quickly, it can lead to permanent deafness, blindness, brain damage or, at worst, death.
In the United Kingdom, meningitis is predominantly associated with university students, but the disease is most prominent in sub-Saharan Africa in the "belt of meningitis", with the largest burden in Southern Sudan.
In the region, the outbreaks of meningitis are seasonal, taking place between November and March, when wet winds fit the nose and throat of the people – facilitating the entry of bacteria.