Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Richard Hale, William Schmarzo, Moshe Kranc

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
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it ...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
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...
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
The best-practices for building IoT applications with Go Code that attendees can use to build their own IoT applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Indraneel Mitra, Senior Solutions Architect & Technology Evangelist at Cognizant, provided valuable information and resources for both novice and experienced developers on how to get started with IoT and Golang in a day. He also provided information on how to use Intel Arduino Kit, Go Robotics API and AWS IoT stack to build an application tha...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...