Dr. Ciro de Quadros Coauthors Post for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Blog
Here's an excerpt from the blog post, which appeared on Impatient Opitimists on January 11:
A mother in Tanzania cradles her week-old son as the nation’s First Lady Salma Kikwete drips a rotavirus vaccine into the tiny “O” of his mouth, helping to protect the infant against severe, and often deadly, rotavirus diarrhea.
It took a lot to arrive at this moment: community education for the mother so she knew to make the difficult journey with her baby for vaccination, the training of hundreds of health workers, new registries and immunization cards, an upgraded cold chain to store the vaccines at the right temperature, a commitment to sustainable vaccine funding—and the decision by the Tanzanian government to introduce rotavirus vaccines into the country’s immunization program.
Just weeks ago, Tanzania became the 8th country in Africa to make rotavirus vaccination part of its childhood immunization program. With the competing priorities of running a nation and keeping its citizens healthy, how did rotavirus vaccines rise to the top for Tanzania’s leaders? In part, it was because of the compelling evidence and the efforts of scientists and medical practitioners who brought it to light.
Learn more about how rotavirus vaccines can improve health and save lives at www.ROTACouncil.org.
Picture above taken in Sierra Leone by Olivier Asselin.