Rotavirus vaccine to fight infant mortality in Haiti

Many infant mortality in Haiti are caused by diarrhea that can lead to dehydration, vomiting and fever. Often, these are the symptom of a virus called: Rotavirus.


Rotavirus infections spread easily in settings where many children are together. It is obtained through contact with the stool from an infected child. It is estimated that rotavirus disease is taking the lives of close to 2,500 Haitian children every year.

Due to its high contagious rate, just an improvement in drinking water, sanitation or hygiene would not solve the problem. Vaccination has been determined to be the best method to stop the spread of rotavirus.

The first vaccine to prevent rotavirus was first licensed in 1998 but removed from the market a year later due to dangerous side effects. In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new rotavirus vaccine which is currently in use. Rotavirus vaccine offers the best hope for preventing the deadly rotavirus infection.

GAVI, an organization funded by several governments, has been providing rotavirus vaccine into the country's routine immunization program. As a result, several thousands of Haitian children have been immunized against the disease every year.

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