Meet Asim. In his low-income urban neighborhood in Pakistan, it can seem as if the one thing more widespread than typhoid is misinformation about typhoid. Crucial information on the prevention of the disease through handwashing, drinking clean water or receiving a vaccination is often missing in places where typhoid is endemic, leaving kids like Asim at high risk of suffering unnecessarily from preventable diseases.

For many of us born and raised in the United States, vaccines are a familiar part of our doctors’ appointments. But most of us don’t know that there is a complex logistical operation dictating exactly what vaccines we receive and when.

Dr. Bruce Gellin, M.D., M.P.H., will join the Sabin Vaccine Institute as President, Global Immunization, on March 1, 2017. Read the press release. Dr. Gellin, a 15-year U.S. Department of Health and Human Services veteran, has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and Director of the National Vaccine Program Office since 2002.

Over the last 200 years, vaccines have proven to be one of the most effective ways to prevent and control disease.

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are the most common affliction of the world’s poorest people. Thriving in communities that lack access to health services, adequate sanitation and clean water, NTDs blind, disable and disfigure, trapping families in a cycle of poverty and disease.

The scientific evidence is overwhelming -- there is no link between vaccines and autism. Most people are vaccinating their children on schedule, but the risk to the public is real even if just a few children are not vaccinated.

After struggling with outbreaks for more than a year, Zimbabwe is facing yet another deadly wave of typhoid as it begins 2017. Hundreds of cases have been reported across the country over the past three months, the vast majority of which have occurred in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city, where the local government struggles to provide clean water and to contain sewage. Because typhoid is spread through contaminated food and water, the lack of these basic services means that typhoid bacteria can easily spread throughout the city. Although there are two vaccines for typhoid on the market, both of which have proven safe and effective, they are not readily available to Zimbabweans, even those that live in high-risk areas.

While investments in biomedical R&D have led to tremendous scientific breakthroughs and health improvements in the modern era, the benefits have been shared unevenly.

An estimated two billion people lack the medicines they need. The 2016 Access to Medicines Index analyzes pharmaceutical companies’ efforts to improve access to medicines, vaccines and diagnostics for low- and middle-income countries.

As 2016 has come to a close, our team at the Coalition against Typhoid would like to take a moment to reflect on this busy year. It was a year that illustrated, more clearly than ever, that typhoid is a continuing and major threat to millions around the world. Over the course of 2016, an estimated 21 million people – most of them children – suffered from typhoid. Of these, 220,000 died of the disease. We saw typhoid outbreaks in Malawi, Fiji, Zimbabwe and other countries. In endemic countries like India and Nepal, the monsoon season worsened the impact of this disease. In 2016, typhoid struck at ordinary places like schools and weddings, and also at the most vulnerable places, such as refugee camps, reminding us that this disease doesn’t discriminate.

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