The Sudan introduces rotavirus vaccine

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Following the Sudan's introduction of the rotavirus vaccine, GAVI plans to introduce it in 40 GAVI-eligible countries by 2015

Sudan rota rollout - mother and child 18082011

In July 2011, the Sudan became the first GAVI-eligible country in Africa to introduce a new vaccine to protect children from rotavirus, the leading cause of severe infant diarrhoea. 

“The introduction of the vaccine will reduce the suffering and deaths of our children,” said Dr Walyeldin Elfakey, Senior Paediatrician at the Omdurman Paediatric Hospital in Khartoum. 

Looking around the ward, Dr Elfakey said: “All of these children were admitted within the last 24 hours. Some children died before they made it here. Some have developed malnutrition. Some are receiving IV fluids and oral rehydration. The introduction of rotavirus vaccine will reduce all this suffering.”

In 2011, one manufacturer announced a price offer for rotavirus vaccine of US$ 2.50 per dose, or US$ 5.00 per course. This is a fraction of the price charged for the same vaccine in the United States of America (a price reduction of 97%) and represents a two thirds reduction in price when compared with rotavirus vaccines bought for low- and middle-income countries in Latin America and the Caribbean region.

US$ 1 = US$ 18

A study in Health Affairs covering 73 Gavi-supported countries over the 2011–2020 period shows that, for every US$ 1 spent on immunisation, US$ 18 are saved in healthcare costs, lost wages and lost productivity due to illness. If we take into account the broader benefits of people living longer, healthier lives, the return on investment rises to US$ 48 per US$ 1 spent.

Ozawa S, Clark S, Portnoy A et al. Return on investment from childhood immunizations in low- and middle-income countries, 2011-20, Health Affairs 2016

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