Progress Update: May 2018


Dear Colleagues,

Ongoing rotavirus vaccine rollouts in three countries are ensuring access for millions of children across a 3,000-kilometer-wide swath of South Asia-from Afghanistan and Pakistan, both of which administer the vaccine in all provinces, to an ongoing phased introduction in India that now includes 10 states. Jharkhand, in eastern India, recently became the latest state to roll out rotavirus vaccines to its children. Jharkhand also became the first state to introduce ROTASIIL ®, from the Serum Institute of India.
Among Gavi-eligible countries, Bangladesh, Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Nepal and are also expected to introduce rotavirus vaccines in the next year, protecting millions more children against life-threatening disease.
See below for more news and events.
Mathu Santosham
Chair, ROTA Council


Council members host rotavirus session at pediatric infectious disease conference in Manila 

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines held its 25th Annual Convention ea rlier this year. During the meeting,  Council members presented a symposium for representatives from four Asian countries yet to introduce rotavirus vaccines on advocacy and communication for the control of pediatric infectious disease.

Talks covered the history and current status of rotavirus vaccine inclusion on the Philippines, advocacy lessons, and current and future rotavirus vaccine products.


ROTA Council at the International Rotavirus Symposium in Minsk, Belarus

Registration is now available for the 2018 International Rotavirus Symposium hereROTA Council plans to hold a strategy session as well as a satellite session on building the investment case for rotavirus in Europe. Watch this space for details.


Rotavirus is Leading Cause of Hospitalizations for Severe Acute Gastroenteritis among Afghan Children <5

Surveillance conducted at two of Afghanistan's largest hospitals showed that rotavirus caused 52% of hospitalizations for diarrhea. Most (93%) of children hospitalized for rotavirus were children under two. Transmission of rotavirus occurred year-round. Data from the study will be instrumental in understanding the impact of rotavirus vaccines, which Afghanistan introduced for all children earlier this year. 

Impact of Rotavirus Vaccines on Diarrheal Hospitalization and Outpatient Consultations in the Philippines 

Anna Lena Lopez and colleagues report on a substantial decline in diarrheal hospitalizations and outpatient consultations for diarrhea seen in Agusan del Sur, Philippines, following the introduction of rotavirus vaccine in the province's public health clinics. They also report on a decline in outpatient consultations in Agusan del Sur following the vaccine's introduction, as coverage of the first dose increased from 5% to 92% in 2015. Because few middle-income Asian countries have introduced rotavirus vaccine, this evidence could help guide policy making in the region. 

New Data on ROTASIIL Safety from Niger 

Rotavirus remains a major cause of diarrhea among children under 5 years of age. A new publication reports on two-year safety follow-up of the ROTASIIL efficacy study in Niger. Key points:
  • ROTASIIL has been shown effective against severe rotavirus gastroenteritis in Niger.
  • Two-year follow-up of the intention-to-treat population shows no safety concerns.
  • Overall mortality was very low for the region.
  • One case of intussusception was notified, and was unrelated to ROTASIIL.


New Report on Coordinating Child Health and WASH Interventions

Investing in integrated actions in the early years of a child's life creates a positive cycle that builds human capital, strengthens economies, reduces future healthcare costs and contributes to national development.

New analysis by WaterAid and DefeatDD shows  that major health gains and improved cost-effectiveness are possible if decision-makers act now to  coordinate, integrate and invest  in child health and WASH interventions.

Burnett E, Tate JE, Kirkwood CD,  Nelson EAS, Santosham M, Steele AD, Parashar UD.  Expert Rev Vaccines 2018 Feb 26 [Epub ahead of print]
Evaluation of Intussusception after Monovalent Rotavirus Vaccination in Africa.
Tate JE, Mwenda JM,  Armah G, Jani B, Omore R, Ademe A, Mujuru H, Mpabalwani E, Ngwira B, Cortese MM, Mihigo R, Glover-Addy H, Mbaga M, Osawa F, Tadesse A, Mbuwayesango B, Simwaka J,  Cunliffe N, Lopman BA, Weldegebriel G, Ansong D, Msuya D, Ogwel B, Karengera T, Manangazira P, Bvulani B, Yen C, Zawaira FR, Narh CT, Mboma L, Saula P, Teshager F, Getachew H, Moeti RM, Eweronu-Laryea C,  Parashar UD, African Intussusception Surveillance Network. 
N Engl J Med. 2018 Apr 19
Cowley D, Pavlic D, Bogdanovic-Sakran N, Boniface K, Kirkwood CD,  Bines JE.
Hum Vaccin Immunother 2018 Apr 24 [Epub ahead of print]
The future control of rotavirus disease: Can live oral vaccines alone solve the rotavirus problem? 
Glass RI , Jiang B,  Parashar U Vaccine 2018 Apr 19 [Epub 2018 Mar 19.]
Three Rotavirus Outbreaks in the Postvaccine Era - California, 2017.
Burke RM, Tate JE, Barin N, Book C, Bowen MD, Chang D, Gautam R, Han G, Holguin J, Huynh T, Pan CY, Quenelle R, Sallenave C, Torres C, Wadford D,  Parashar U.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018 Apr 27

Featured Media: Nepal Recognizes Immunization as a Right for all Children, Prepares to Introduce Rotavirus Vaccine for All

Nepal will soon introduce rotavirus vaccine into the National Immunisation Programme, adding a critical tool to protect children from another serious and even deadly infectious disease, write ROTA Council Chair Mathu Santosham and Dr. Bikash Lamichhane in 
The Himalayan Times. Dr. Lamichhane is director of Nepal's Child Health Division in the Ministry of Health.

The Himalayan Times (Nepal) 27 April 2018

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