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November 2021
International Vaccine Access Center
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Rotavirus Vaccines in Africa
The devastating effects of rotavirus infection continue to be felt more heavily in African countries than most other places. Global burden studies estimate that just eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa alone account for 80% of global rotavirus mortality.
 
This week, rotavirus researchers, policymakers, and public health practitioners will once again be gathering for the 13th Annual African Rotavirus Symposium to discuss the persisting burden of rotavirus in Africa, the successful strides being made with rotavirus vaccine introduction, and the continued challenges to disease prevention and control in Africa.
 
Ahead of this convening, we curated this newsletter to highlight some of our resources that help share the experiences and lessons learned in African countries that have introduced rotavirus vaccine. 

Resources 


Rotavirus Vaccine Introductions in Africa


To date, 37 of the 47 countries in the WHO African region have introduced rotavirus vaccine, reflecting an encouraging image of the vaccine being introduced where it's needed most.

Further explore the VIEW-hub maps to view vaccine data by country or a time-lapse of introductions since 2005.

Learnings from Champion Voices in Africa 

Through our Champion Interview Series, ROTA had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Fred Were, Dr. George Armah, and Dr. Michelle Groome (coming soon!) on the experiences and impact of rotavirus vaccine introduction in Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa, respectively. Read their interviews here.

Video: Perspectives from Benin on ROTAVAC Introduction

In February 2020, Benin introduced the rotavirus vaccine, ROTAVAC, into their national immunization program. In this 4-minute video, mothers and health workers discuss the importance of rotavirus vaccine for children's health. Benin's National EPI Manager also shares insight into how the West African nation used TV, radio, posters, and social media to pave the way for a successful vaccine introduction. The communication campaign was led by the Benin Ministry of Health with support from RAVIN, a partnership between IVAC, JSI, and the CDC.
 

Introduction Experiences in Africa


Our Country Experiences Map spotlights unique rotavirus vaccine introduction stories, supplemented by country vaccine rollout and coverage data. Currently, the interactive map includes stories from African countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Benin, South Africa and Rwanda.
 
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