June 11, 2012 | The Nation
Ahead of this week's Coalition against Typhoid activities in Bangkok, an op-ed by CaT Director Dr. Chris Nelson was featured in today's The Nation, an English-speaking daily Thai news outlet.
What's Missing in the Effort to Stop the Spread of Typhoid Fever
By Dr. Chris Nelson
What does it really take to control and ultimately eliminate diseases of poverty? If you read the headlines, you might think it requires more money, vaccines, education or a combination of those. Unfortunately, even when we can have all of those tools at our fingertips, there are times when we still cannot effectively reach the people that most need our help.
Typhoid fever is the perfect example.
Typhoid is a disease that still affects more than 21 million people around the world, despite that fact that we have accessible, low-cost vaccines. Endemic disease, although common in Asia and Africa, is often overlooked. Outbreaks occur when common water and food sources become contaminated with infected human waste. The symptoms -high fever, flu-like symptoms, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhoea - result in approximately 200,000 deaths annually, mostly among school and pre-school aged children.
Within the South and Southeast Asian region, there are prime examples of countries that showcase both the positive impact of government involvement and the growing number of typhoid outbreaks that occur in countries without comprehensive disease control policies that include immunisation. These regions have the greatest documented burden of typhoid in the world, but only a handful of countries have policies for typhoid vaccines and even fewer have implemented vaccination programs.
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