November 8, 2010
Sabin Vaccine Institute announced today that the organization will serve as the secretariat of the Coalition Against Typhoid (CaT), with support from a three-year, $3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. CaT is a global forum of health and immunization experts advocating for increased utilization of typhoid vaccination to prevent childhood enteric fever.
Typhoid fever, a bacterial disease caused by Salmonella typhi, represents a significant but poorly defined burden of disease. Transmitted through the ingestion of food or drink contaminated by the feces or urine of infected people, the disease can be treated with antibiotics. Unfortunately, resistance to common antimicrobials is widespread and increasing.
There are approximately 16 to 33 million cases of typhoid each year and between 210,000 and 600,000 deaths, a disease burden comparable to other vaccine preventable diseases such as rotavirus and human papillomavirus. Almost all cases are among school-aged children in developing countries with poor sanitation and limited access to clean drinking water.
“The Sabin Vaccine Institute is proud to be part of the Coalition Against Typhoid and their efforts to raise awareness amongst policy makers and health professionals that safe and affordable vaccines exist to treat typhoid and should be introduced without delay,” said Dr. Ciro de Quadros, Executive Vice President of Sabin Vaccine Institute.
The goal of CaT will be to define the barriers for adoption of typhoid vaccine and the key activities needed for the barriers to be overcome. Specifically, outcomes include increasing disease burden knowledge and awareness; raising visibility of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations to countries and clarifying vaccination strategies; helping interested countries implement policy to quantify and communicate their vaccination strategies and needs; and increasing typhoid priority and securing funding support from financers.
“Despite the availability of low cost vaccines against typhoid and a WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts recommendation for their use, typhoid fever vaccination has been a low priority for many countries, including those most impacted by the disease, “ said Dr. Christopher Nelson, Director of the CaT Secretariat. “The Sabin Vaccine Institute is committed to helping CaT overcome these barriers to the widespread use of safe, affordable and life-saving vaccines.”
CaT was conceived in 2009 to expedite and sustain evidence-based and informed decisions at the global, regional and country levels regarding the use of typhoid vaccines. Participation in the coalition is open to any institution interested in contributing to the prevention and control of typhoid fever. Currently, members of CaT include the Aga Khan University, Bharat Biotech, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Maryland, Crucell, GAVI Alliance, International Vaccine Institute, Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health, PATH, Sanofi-Pasteur, UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.
About Sabin Vaccine Institute
Sabin Vaccine Institute is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organizations of scientists, researchers, and advocates dedicated to reducing needless human suffering from infectious and neglected tropical diseases through prevention and treatment. Sabin works with governments, academic institutions, scientists, medical professionals, and other non-profit organizations to provide short and long-term solutions for some of the globe’s toughest health care challenges. Since its founding in 1993 in honor of the oral polio vaccine developer, Dr. Albert B. Sabin, the Institute has been at the forefront of global efforts to eliminate, prevent and cure infectious and neglected tropical diseases by developing new vaccines, establishing international networks, and advocating for effective and efficient delivery of preventions and treatments to the world’s poor. www.sabin.org