Through trainings and workshops, Sabin educates leaders from national governments, the private sector, media and civil society organizations on the value of immunization and encourages collaboration among all development partners on vaccine issues. Each year, in addition to the symposia series that Sabin coordinates on diseases such as pneumococcal disease and rotavirus, Sabin organizes conferences and peer exchanges on immunization that bring together key stakeholders in order to improve global awareness, access, policy and action.
Rubella, also known as German Measles, is an often mild disease whose symptoms can range from a fever and rash to signs too mild to detect. When contracted by a pregnant woman in her first 20 weeks, however, rubella can lead to Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) in the fetus, and the effects can be devastating. The disease can cause severe growth and mental retardation, deafness and other developmental problems when the fetus becomes infected. Though the burden of CRS is not well documented, the WHO estimates that in developing countries alone 100,000 cases of CRS occur each year.
Each year, rotavirus kills nearly half a million children and hospitalizes millions more. Rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrheal hospitalizations and deaths among children worldwide. Development of a rotavirus vaccine has been a global health priority for many years, and with two vaccines currently on the market and several more under development, the promise of prevention is now becoming reality in several parts of the world.
As health sector budgets grow slowly and the menu of health interventions expands, resources are being allocated more prudently and competing options must be considered carefully. Making evidence-based decisions about vaccine introduction now requires competencies beyond those traditionally found in many National Immunization Programs (NIPs). Decision makers increasingly require economic analysis to support decision-making for new vaccines, in addition to epidemiologic, logistical, and financial data.
Pneumococcal, a highly infectious disease, kills 1.6 million people– including more than 800,000 children under age five– each year. Sabin supports research and advocacy efforts to raise awareness about this deadly disease and encourage the introduction of pneumococcal vaccines worldwide.
The onset of meningitis can occur suddenly and progress rapidly, with the potential to become fatal within a matter of hours. Survivors can be left with debilitating neurological side effects ranging from speech disorders to mental retardation and paralysis.
Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths among women in Latin America and the Caribbean. For example, of the 80,000 new cases and 36,000 cervical cancer deaths reported in the Americas in 2008 alone, Latin American and Caribbean countries accounted for the vast majority.
Health System and EPI Program
Administratively, the health system is divided into fourlevels: central Ministry of Health (MOH); provincial health departments, district level health offices and communal. The service delivery network is quite well organized and has wide coverage. There are health facilitiesat all four levels.