Reposted with the permission of GAVI Alliance
Two and a half year-old Abdul lay inert on his mother’s lap when we arrived at the Gondama Community Health Centre, a tiny rural clinic in southern Sierra Leone. Abdul’s mother, Aisha Kamara, had just brought him in and, tearful and terrified for her son, she talked to us while clinic staff readied for his treatment.
“He’s been sick for four days,” she told us, “He had diarrhoea and he kept getting weaker. He lost his appetite and stopped playing. Whatever he ate, he threw up. I just didn’t know what to do.”
In 2008, PATH was thrilled to welcome Dr. Duncan Steele as our senior advisor on diarrheal disease. For three decades, he has tracked rotavirus in Africa and is recognized worldwide as a leading expert. A recent outbreak, potentially due to rotavirus, hit particularly close to home, and we sat down with Duncan for a personal and professional perspective.
Describe the years you spent in Kwe Kwe.
Blog 4 Global Health, August 2011
Dr. Amani Abdelmoniem Mustafa, manager of the Expanded Programme on Immunization for Sudan, gives a first hand account of the first child to receive a rotavirus vaccine in Sudan.
Why is diarrhea still a leading killer of children worldwide, and what can be done about it? Fortunately, many great minds have put this question under the microscope.
New England Journal of Medicine, August 2011
A three year study in Mexico shows that the rotavirus vaccine that was introduced three years ago has effectively reduced diarrhea-related mortalty, addressing any remaining doubts about the vaccine's efficacy.
CBC News, August 2011
Vaccinating infants against rotavirus can also prevent serious diseases in unvaccinated older children and adults, a new study in The Journal of Infectious Diseases says.
Call it what you will: joining up or combining interventions, integration or disaggregation. Whatever you call it, it is essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and to alleviating poverty and disease.
[Blog post] Quiet hopefulness and hard work: Rotavirus vaccines finally will reach across Africa – a time to reflect
It is with a quiet sense of hopefulness and excitement that I look ahead to the next couple of years as we hear about the growing impetus of African countries preparing to introduce rotavirus vaccines – it sounds almost like a building crescendo or drum roll to me. The first notes started when South Africa introduced rotavirus vaccine in 2009, next came Morocco in 2010, and since July 17, 2011, Sudan has been immunizing its children against rotavirus.
GAVI Alliance, September 2011
The GAVI Alliance today announced it will provide funding for 16 more developing countries to introduce rotavirus vaccines and 18 more countries to introduce pneumococcal vaccines -- a major step towards protecting children against severe diarrhoea and pneumonia -- the two leading child killers.
Rotaflash, October 2011
Findings from a study published in the Lancet show that child mortality from rotavirus remains high. Tragically, approximately 95% of rotavirus deaths occurred in countries that are eligible to receive GAVI-support to introduce rotavirus vaccines.