Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Gerardo A Dada, Pat Romanski, Craig Lowell, AppNeta Blog, Liz McMillan

News Feed Item

100 Millionth Person Receives Lifesaving Meningitis Vaccine

Affordable, safe, effective vaccine protecting young people from devastating disease

GENEVA, Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A revolutionary meningitis vaccine will reach the 100 millionth person this week in a region of Africa that has been plagued by deadly epidemics for more than a century. The milestone will take place in northern Nigeria, part of Africa's "meningitis belt," where the country is conducting its second seasonal immunisation campaign against the disease.

The historic achievement comes two years after the MenAfriVac® vaccine was first launched in Burkina Faso. Since then, nine other countries have held vaccination campaigns to protect people from ages 1 to 29 against meningitis A.

Nigeria will vaccinate 16 million people over the next two weeks and Cameroon and Chad are also conducting immunisation campaigns this week targeting 5.5 million and 2.3 million people respectively. By the end of this year, the vaccine will have reached more than 112 million people, providing widespread and long-awaited protection.

The achievement will be recognised at the GAVI Alliance Partners' Forum, which is bringing together developing countries, donors, civil society, technical and research institutes, health agencies, and the vaccine industry this week in Dar es Salaam, the capital of the United Republic of Tanzania.

"When we began developing this vaccine, we knew how desperately it was needed, and we hoped it would quickly provide relief for the many people who dread sub-Saharan Africa's meningitis season," said Steve Davis, president and CEO of PATH, which partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to create MenAfriVac®. "We are so proud to see African countries quickly embrace this vaccine and to see that deadly and debilitating meningitis cases have virtually disappeared in the regions that have been vaccinated."

"This milestone has been achieved thanks to the commitment of national governments and support from WHO and other partners," said Dr. Flavia Bustreo, WHO assistant director-general for family, women, and children's health. "We must continue our efforts to implement vaccination campaigns in the remaining meningitis belt countries and ensure widespread uptake of the MenAfriVac® vaccine."

"Meningitis is a terrible disease which kills young people, creates severe neurological damage in many survivors, and devastates communities," said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance, which is providing funding for the vaccines being used in the campaigns. "It is nothing short of remarkable that exactly two years after the first GAVI-funded meningitis vaccination campaign in the meningitis belt, the 100 millionth will have their life protected."

"The development of MenAfriVac® as a low-cost vaccine was critically important for the global health community," said Chris Elias, president of Global Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "Vaccines work to save and improve lives and the speed with which the governments in meningitis-affected countries have introduced this new vaccine to protect young people is exemplary."

"Meningitis A epidemics have affected the poorest families in countries of the Sahel, in the worst cases killing one third of the affected community," said Geeta Rao Gupta, deputy executive director of UNICEF. "But now campaigns are bringing hope to the poor families of previously unreached communities, which are mobilising their members around this safe, effective and affordable vaccine."

Seasonal meningitis A epidemics threaten the lives of 450 million people living in the meningitis belt, which stretches through 26 countries from Gambia in the west to Eritrea in the east. The disease causes a painful inflammation of the lining around the brain and the spine that can kill people within 24 to 48 hours. Those who survive often face severe learning difficulties, deafness, or amputated limbs. Children and young adults are most at risk.

In the largest-ever seasonal epidemic in Africa's history, in 1996-1997, meningitis A infected 250,000 people and killed 25,000. In 1997, African ministers of health appealed to WHO and other partners to find a lasting solution to the dreadful disease.

In 2001, PATH and WHO formed the Meningitis Vaccine Project to develop a vaccine that would tackle the meningococcus strain that causes meningitis A at a price that African countries could afford. Historically, new vaccines have either not been designed to cover variants of diseases found in developing countries or have been too expensive for developing countries to include in their immunisation schedules. The partners worked with the Serum Institute of India Ltd. to develop and manufacture the vaccine at a cost of less than US$0.50 per dose.

The vaccine has already significantly reduced the burden of meningitis in the regions where it has been introduced. In Burkina Faso, which launched the inaugural MenAfriVac® campaign in December 2010, there were no cases of meningitis A among those who were vaccinated.

"This vaccine is having a tremendous impact on the lives of people in some of the world's most vulnerable towns and villages," Berkley said. "The partners involved in developing this vaccine deserve tremendous credit for ensuring the right vaccine is available at the right price."

On October 31, 2012, MenAfriVac® received approval be kept outside the cold chain for up to four days at up to 40 degrees C, in a controlled temperature chain (CTC). MenAfriVac® is the first vaccine intended for use in Africa approved for this type of use, potentially setting a regulatory path that other heat-stable vaccines can follow.

Cold chain limitations have posed logistical challenges for MenAfriVac® and other vaccine programmes, increasing programme costs, delaying roll-outs, limiting access to "last mile" communities and allowing outbreaks to continue. Benin launched the pilot project using the new CTC approach during its rollout of the vaccine November 15 to 25.

Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Sudan, Ghana, Benin, and Senegal have all conducted campaigns with the MenAfriVac® vaccine since its introduction in 2010.

About GAVI:
The GAVI Alliance is a public-private partnership committed to saving children's lives and protecting people's health by increasing access to immunisation in developing countries. The Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other private philanthropists. GAVI uses innovative finance mechanisms, including co-financing by recipient countries, to secure sustainable funding and adequate supply of quality vaccines. Since 2000, GAVI has financed the immunisation of an additional 370 million children and prevented more than 5.5 million premature deaths. Learn more at www.gavialliance.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

GAVI is funded by governments (Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Korea, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States), the European Commission, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as private and corporate partners (Absolute Return for Kids, Anglo American plc, The Children's Investment Fund Foundation, Comic Relief, His Highness Sheikh Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, JP Morgan, "la Caixa" Foundation, LDS Charities).

To access broadcast-quality footage from the GAVI library, please visit:  http://www.gavi-video.org/content/index.asp

About the World Health Organization:
WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, improving global health security, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.

About PATH
PATH is an international nonprofit organization that transforms global health through innovation. PATH takes an entrepreneurial approach to developing and delivering high-impact, low-cost solutions, from lifesaving vaccines, drugs, and devices to collaborative programs with communities. Through its work in more than 70 countries, PATH and its partners empower people to achieve their full potential.

For more information, please visit www.path.org.

About UNICEF
UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

SOURCE PATH

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, discussed recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model for ...
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effici...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal...
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, discussed how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your aud...
"At ROHA we develop an app called Catcha. It was developed after we spent a year meeting with, talking to, interacting with senior citizens watching them use their smartphones and talking to them about how they use their smartphones so we could get to know their smartphone behavior," explained Dave Woods, Chief Innovation Officer at ROHA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...