In December 2010, the people of Burkina Faso made history. Throughout the small West African country, they gathered to get a new vaccine that protects against a disease which, in the last century, has killed hundreds of thousands in Burkina Faso and neighboring countries: meningococcal meningitis A.
The new vaccine is the result of the Meningitis Vaccine Project, a partnership between PATH and the World Health Organization. The vaccine targets the strain of bacterial meningitis that causes deadly epidemics throughout the 25-country African “meningitis belt.” Its widespread use has the potential to end those epidemics forever.
The people of Burkina Faso understood that potential—it showed in their faces as they took part in the ten-day mass vaccination campaign that introduced the new vaccine.