Progress Update
November 2016

A Letter from the Chair

Dear ROTA Council members, partners, and supporters,
Congratulations to Julie Bines, the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, and the Sabin Vaccine Institute for organizing an effective and engaging International Rotavirus Symposium in Melbourne for over 350 people from more than 55 countries. 

In conjunction with the symposium, the ROTA Council hosted an advocacy workshop, Engaging New Advocates To Accelerate Access To Rotavirus Vaccines For Children In The Asia Pacific Region. Over 20 specialists and government leaders from Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Laos, Mongolia, Pakistan, and the Philippines discussed strategies to improve access to rotavirus vaccine for children in Asia through advocacy and communication. 
The symposium showed that we may be at a tipping point. We have vaccines that work—just look at their impact across Africa, as our new factsheet (see below) highlights—ready financing from Gavi for low-income countries, and a growing pipeline of new vaccine products.
Two of the Council’s focus countries, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Bangladesh, have recently submitted Gavi applications to introduce rotavirus vaccines. And Pakistan plans to start using the vaccine within months in its Punjab province—home to over 100 million people—with a subsequent national rollout. 
Thanks to the Council and allies for the work you do to expand access to life-saving rotavirus vaccines for children around the world.


Mathu Santosham
In this edition...

News and Announcements 

This week, the ROTA Council convened leading pediatric experts from Asia for a symposium: Evidence-based advocacy for rotavirus prevention in Asia

What: A technical and advocacy symposium on rotavirus burden, the potential impact of vaccine introduction, and how to become an effective advocate for rotavirus vaccines as part of a comprehensive approach to diarrheal disease prevention. Hosted by the ROTA Council and its core partners.

When: Monday, 7 November 2016 | 8:30 am - 5:00 pm Just before Asian Congress of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (ACPID) 8-10 November

Where: Pullman Grande Sukhumvit Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

Watch this space for recap.

Recap: International Rotavirus Symposium

Hundreds of people from dozens of countries gathered to discuss progress on a unanimous mission: reduce mortality and hospitalizations due to rotavirus, the leading cause of severe diarrhea among children under 5 years of age.

“We have rotavirus vaccines that work—they reduce hospitalizations—but we are still not getting them to the most vulnerable populations or countries with the highest rotavirus mortality,” said Duncan Steele, PhD.

Read a summary of the event

Featured Tool: Sharable Slides with Latest Data 

New White Paper Summary Slides

Earlier this year, ROTA Council launched the new white paper, Rotavirus: Common, Severe, Devastating, Preventable. To view and share data from the white paper, we now offer a slide deck

Featured Research: Rotavirus Disease in China

Rotavirus causes 40% of diarrhea-related hospitalizations in children <5 in China

Findings in a new review of scientific literature on rotavirus disease in China from 1994 through 2014 affirm that rotavirus is a major cause of childhood diarrheal disease. The review suggests that a vaccination program with doses given early in infancy has the potential to prevent the majority of the burden of severe rotavirus disease.
For additional rotavirus-related articles published (or Epublished ahead of print) in August-October 2016, please click here.

Recent Member Publications

The ROTA Council website is updated bimonthly with new rotavirus and diarrheal disease-related publications authored by Council members and core partners. View all of these recent member publications from August-October 2016 on the ROTA Council website.

Breastfeeding linked to the reduction of both rotavirus shedding and IgA levels after Rotarix® immunization in Mexican infants. Bautista-Marquez A, Velasquez DE, Esparza-Aguilar M, Luna-Cruz M, Ruiz-Moran T, Sugata K, Jiang B, Parashar U, Patel M, Richardson V. Vaccine. 2016 Oct 17;34(44):5284-5289.

Clinical Severity and Rotavirus Vaccination among Children Hospitalized for Acute Gastroenteritis in Belém, Northern Brazil. Justino MC, Brasil P, Abreu E, Miranda Y, Mascarenhas JD, Guerra SF, Linhares AC. J Trop Pediatr. 2016 Aug;62(4):276-81. Epub 2016 Feb 15.

Direct Medical Costs in Children with Rotavirus and Non-rotavirus Diarrhea Admitted to a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and High Dependency Unit in Delhi. Mathew A, Srinivasan R, Venugopal S, Kang G. Indian Pediatr. 2016 Jul 8;53(7):639-41.

Epidemiology, Seasonality and Factors Associated with Rotavirus Infection among Children with Moderate-to-Severe Diarrhea in Rural Western Kenya, 2008-2012: The Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS). Omore R, Tate JE, O'Reilly CE, Ayers T, Williamson J, Moke F, Schilling KA, Awuor AO, Jaron P, Ochieng JB, Oundo J, Parashar UD, Parsons MB, Bopp CC, Nasrin D, Farag TH, Kotloff KL, Nataro JP, Panchalingam S, Levine MM, Laserson KF, Nuorti JP, Mintz ED, Breiman RF. PLoS One. 2016 Aug 5;11(8):e0160060.

Expanded Indian National Rotavirus Surveillance Network in the Context of Rotavirus Vaccine Introduction. Mehendale S, Venkatasubramanian S, Girish Kumar CP, Kang G, Gupte MD, Arora R. Indian Pediatr. 2016 Jul 8;53(7):575-81.

Advocacy Toolkit Spotlight: Impact in Africa

The new Rotavirus in Africa fact sheet details vaccine impact across Africa. Also available in French.

Introduction Updates

A full list of countries that have introduced rotavirus vaccines is available on the ROTA Council website.

Rotavirus in the Media: Bangladesh, DRC, Philippines, More

We need to do more to beat rotavirus. The Philippine Star (Philippines). 5 September 2016

Rotavirus a major threat to children lives. Daily Times (Pakistan). 12 September 2016

Health: Signature of both plans submitted from the DRC to Gavi | Santé: signature des deux plans de soumission de la RDC à Gavi. Agence d’Information d’Afrique Centrale (DRC). 2 September 2016

Promoting the danger of pneumococcus and rotavirus diarrhea | RS Awal Bros Sosialisasikan Bahaya Pheumokokus dan Diare Akibat. (Indonesia). 10 September 2016 

Protect children of Bangladesh from rotavirus illness and death today The Daily Star (Bangladesh). 4 September 2016

Rotavirus vaccine in national immunisation – how far? The Daily Star (Bangladesh). 7 August 2016 

Exclusive interview of Dr Mathuram Santosham on #rotavirus diarrhoea and vaccines against it. News Hour (Bangladesh) 5 August 2016

MPs pledge to improve routine immunisation. The Nation (Pakistan). 26 August 2016 

Rotavirus infections ‘greatly reduced’ since vaccine. BBC (UK). 25 August 2016. 
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