Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rotavirus Roll-Out: GAVI's New Program in Africa.

The second biggest killer of childhood illnesses is diarrhoeal diseases, coming close after respiratory illnesses. Around 40% of these diarrhoeal diseases are caused by rotaviruses. So therefore it makes sense that the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization has commenced a roll-out of the virus throughout Africa (where around half of the deaths from rotavirus occur). The roll-out involves immunizing 50 million children in the top 40 poorest countries in the world in an attempt to diminish the high child mortality rate.

Although rotavirus infections are common globally, they are particularly deadly to those living in poorer countries due to insufficient medical care and inability to get the child on a rehydration regiment in time. The new Rotavirus Vaccine protects against multiple, fast mutating strains of rotavirus alleviating the need for many different reformulations and boosters.

This effort follows the December 2010 pneumococcus vaccine effort, and now has been expanded to 19/37 developing countries. GAVI's new programs now target the two largest killers of children worldwide and will hopefully reduce the high mortality rates of these diseases in developing countries.

Read the full article here.

-Victoria Anikst

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