Center for Global Development, May 2009
Scott Kniaz, program coordinator on the Global Health Team at the Center for Global Development, discusses the comprehensive advocacy approach embodied in the recently launched Call to Action against diarrheal disease: “Understanding that the causes and effects of this disease are widespread, its civil society supporters must also be drawn from many corners.”
IPIU, May 2009
Shanely Knox highlights the preventable nature of diarrheal disease and makes a case for simple solutions that deserve more attention, using stories from the field and input from experts.
IRIN, May 2009
International Vaccine Institute director John Clemens argues for a coordinated effort against diarrheal diseases. “It is a false dichotomy to pit sanitation against vaccination,” he asserts. “Progressively, people are thinking about how water sanitation and vaccinations can work together.”
The Huffington Post, May 2009
Author Richard Chin advocates for action against diarrheal disease--the second leading cause of death in children--and urges readers to join the fight against this "senseless killer."
New York Times, April 2009
An op-ed column by Bono, co-founder of the advocacy group ONE, highlights rotavirus as a "killer pest" that our aid money would be well spent on. "It's not charity, it's justice."
[News & Event] RotaTeq® receives WHO pre-qualification—Significant step in Merck's efforts to expand global access to rotavirus vaccine
Medical News Today, October 2008
WHO prequalification is an important milestone for making new rotavirus vaccines available for procurement by UNICEF and the GAVI Alliance, increasing access for the developing world.
Vaccines against diarrhea are relatively new, but they already are making a dramatic impact. Rotavirus vaccines protect against the leading cause of severe childhood diarrhea, and the World Health Organization recommends their introduction in all countries.1
Rotavirus causes one-third of child deaths due to diarrhea, and the vast majority of these occur in developing countries of Africa and Asia.2 It cannot be treated with antibiotics or other drugs, and nearly every child in the world is at risk, regardless of hygiene, sanitation, or access to clean water. Immunization offers the best hope for preventing severe rotavirus, and could save nearly 2.4 million lives by 2030.3
Since 2006, two rotavirus vaccines have been available, and already they are reducing hospitalizations and deaths caused by rotavirus—as well as deaths from diarrhea from any cause.4 They also are protecting children and adults too old to receive vaccination, through herd immunity.5 In early 2014, India licensed a new, locally produced rotavirus vaccine, which will soon be available through India’s national immunization program. As part of an integrated package of interventions that includes ORS, zinc, breastfeeding, nutrition, and sanitation/hygiene, rotavirus vaccination is one of the best ways to prevent death from diarrhea.
PATH is working with the Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance and other partners to ensure that all children can receive rotavirus vaccines, no matter where they live. We also are collaborating with manufacturers to accelerate the development of other new diarrhea vaccines.
1 WHO. Rotavirus vaccines: WHO Position Paper – January 2013.Weekly Epidemiological Record. 2013;88(5):49-64.
2 UNICEF. Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed. 2013 Progress Report. New York: UNICEF; 2013.
3 Atherly D, Lewis KDC, Tate J, et al. Projected Health and Economic Impact of Rotavirus Vaccination in GAVI-eligible Countries: 2011–2030. Vaccine. 2012;30(S1):A7-A14.
4 Patel MM, Parashar US, eds. Real World Impact of Rotavirus Vaccination. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2011;30(1).
5 Anderson E, Shippee D, Weinrobe M, et al. Indirect Protection of Adults From Rotavirus by Pediatric Rotavirus Vaccination. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2013;[e-pub].
[Press release] New Vaccine special edition on rotavirus burden data chronicles a decade of rotavirus surveillance in Asia
This special edition of the journal Vaccine focuses on the rotavirus burden in Asia, where the disease is responsible for almost half of acute diarrhea hospitalizations among Asian children under five. The edition goes on to encourage scientists to become advocates for the life-saving rotavirus vaccine.
On March 31, 2010, the Government of Kenya stepped out as a regional leader in the renewed fight against DD—unveiling an updated national policy to manage and control diarrheal disease. The policy, which highlights traditional and new interventions like ORS, breastfeeding, zinc, hygiene, and forthcoming interventions including rotavirus vaccines, shows Kenya’s commitment to addressing diarrheal disease through a comprehensive approach.
[Press release] New Policy Unveiled to Combat Diarrhoeal Disease, a Leading Killer of Kenyan Children
Government of Kenya’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation, together with the Department of Family Health (Division of Child and Adolescent Health), unveiled a renewed set of national policy guidelines to redouble diarrhoeal disease management and control efforts by putting proven interventions to work within the country’s health system.