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Published On: Thu, Nov 28th, 2013

Zambia goes national with rotavirus vaccine

Following a successful pilot program in Lusaka Province two years ago, Zambia has now rolled out the rotavirus vaccine as part of its national immunization program, according to a report from PATH yesterday.

Zambia Image/CIA

Zambia
Image/CIA

In a ceremony in Mazabuka province where Zambia will launch its “Action Plan for the Control of Diarrhoea and Pneumonia,” they become the 12th African nation to add the vaccine, a new two-dose oral vaccine that prevents one of the most virulent strains of the disease,  to the national program.

Zambia’s Expanded Programme on Immunisation Child Health Specialist, Dr. Penny Kalesha said, “Zambia’s planned integrated approach to combating diarrheal disease will help ensure our children can be spared from the burden of deadly diarrhea and grow up to lead healthy and productive lives. Today’s nationwide introduction of rotavirus vaccines adds the critical element of vaccination to the set of existing diarrhea prevention and treatment tools.”

Diarrhea is a leading killer of Zambian children, taking the lives of more than 5,700 children under five years of age in 2010. Rotavirus, the most common cause of severe and fatal diarrhea in young children worldwide, is responsible for 40 percent of these deaths.

For more information, see PATH’s Rotavirus disease and vaccines in Zambia fact sheet.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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