Journal article

Haemophilus influenzae type b meningitis: how much better is prevention than cure?

Trevor Duke

Papua New Guinea Medical Journal | Published : 2002


Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is a major cause of meningitis and pneumonia in children. In Papua New Guinea (PNG) more than 20% of Hib are now resistant to chloramphenicol, and resistant Hib meningitis treated with chloramphenicol results in certain death or severe brain injury. Third-generation cephalosporins are a therapeutic option but are very expensive, while the Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine would provide effective prevention. In a province of 380,000 people, using ceftriaxone as standard treatment for meningitis in all health facilities would only save an estimated 8 more lives per year than using chloramphenicol, and cost US dollars 1514 per additional life sa..

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