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.
Sabin is working on numerous fronts to address the burden of rotavirus and facilitate the introduction of a rotavirus vaccine across the globe. In 2011, Sabin, in partnership with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH), launched the ROTA Council, a rotavirus advocacy initiative, to call attention to this disease and its impact. The ROTA Council, which is comprised of a team of technical experts from around the world, works to provide the scientific and technical evidence that policymakers need to accelerate the introduction of rotavirus vaccines. Its mission is to save lives and improve health by promoting the use of rotavirus vaccines as part of a comprehensive approach to addressing diarrheal disease.
Additionally, Sabin co-hosts bi-annual international symposia that bring together scientists, clinicians, public health professionals, immunizations leaders, vaccine industry representatives and donors to share the latest research and assist in the development of strategies to make rotavirus vaccines available to children around the world. The Eleventh International Rotavirus Symposium was held in September 2014 in New Delhi, India. At the three-day conference, more than 600 experts from 56 countries examined new surveillance data and studies demonstrating the impact of vaccination for rotavirus, a leading cause of severe and fatal diarrhea in children under five worldwide.
Over the years the symposia have brought together more than 1,850 people from over 65 countries around the world.