How I Nearly Lost My Son to Typhoid Fever – Okonjo-Iweala Reveals

December 6, 2017 9:10 am

Board Chair, Vaccine Alliance, Prof. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has shared a touching story how she nearly lost her son to typhoid.

Iweala said more children will be protected against typhoid fever with its new funding of the typhoid conjugate vaccines while speaking in Vientiane,  Laos. She also shared a personal experience how her son almost died from the disease while growing up.

She said, “Typhoid fever imposes a dramatic burden on children in the poorest nations affecting countries, communities and families.

“This disease has long been eliminated from most industrialised nations, but it is still a serious threat in developing countries where the vast majority of deaths occur.

“I lost my cousin and nearly lost my son because of typhoid. This vaccine will be a lifesaver for millions of children, especially those living without access to clean water or sanitation.”

Speaking on the issue, the Chief Executive Officer, Gavi, Dr Seth Berkley, assured people at the even that the drug-resistant typhoid cases had increased and spread across Asia and Africa, posing a serious threat to public health.

Berkeley said, “This vaccine is safe, effective and can provide lasting protection. The growing spread of drug resistant strains of typhoid is a major threat, not just to individuals but also to our efforts to control the disease. And this requires us to prioritise prevention strategies.

“Strong coverage through routine immunisation together with efforts to improve access to clean water and hygiene will play a key role in dramatically reducing the disease.”

A new typhoid conjugate vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech International Limited and first licensed in India in 2013, is currently under review for prequalification by the World Health Organisation.

Typhoid conjugate vaccines were first seen as a priority by the Gavi board in the 2008, although no financial commitment was made at that time in the absence of a suitable vaccine.

The board also approved a set of principles that would guide the organisation’s transition plan for Nigeria.

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