Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Killer Hib virtually wiped out in Africa

12.08.2005


A pioneering vaccination programme for children has virtually wiped out a killer bug in the Gambia – and could save hundreds of thousands of young lives across Africa.

The vaccinations have slashed the incidence of the disease, which causes meningitis and other diseases in babies and infants, to virtually zero.

Paul Milligan of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said: “This is an extremely valuable result. It proves that a routine vaccination to eradicate a major killer is achievable and practical.



“And it points the way for other African countries to introduce the same sort of vaccination programme, which has the potential to save a lot of lives and help meet the Millennium Development Goal of cutting the under-five mortality rate in the developing world by two-thirds.”

Since 1997, children in the Gambia have been vaccinated against H. influenzae type b, known as Hib. The bacterium is a major cause of meningitis, which can kill or leave children severely disabled and of potentially fatal pneumonia.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that Hib kills as many as 700,000 children every year – mostly among children in the developing world aged under five.

Dr Milligan added that, even though there were interruptions to the supply of vaccine in the Gambia programme and less than 70 percent of children got a complete course, the long-term programme, which started in 1997, has still proved highly effective.

He said: “Virtual eradication of the disease has been achieved, even with a less-than-perfect programme, which is particularly relevant to other sub-Saharan African countries.”

Before the introduction of the programme Hib meningitis alone affected 200 per 100,000 babies aged under 12 months and 60 per 100,000 children aged under five.

Only 45 percent of children affected recovered fully from Hib disease and 30 percent of those who contracted meningitis died.

The study was led by the UK Medical Research Council’s Dr Richard Adegbola, and part-funded by WHO.

The research showed that since 2002, Hib transmission has been virtually eliminated – in both vaccinated and unvaccinated children, because the vaccination programme has meant transmission is less likely.

Before the vaccination programme, around 12 percent of children between one and two years old carried the infectious bacteria – that rate is now less than 0.5 percent.

Dr Milligan said: “The study shows the vaccination programme has been an outstanding success – we now need similar programmes across the developing world to reduce the massive rate of death and disability associated with Hib.”

Raymond Hainey | alfa
Further information:
http://www.lshtm.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A better way to measure the stiffness of cancer cells
01.03.2017 | Duke University

nachricht Humans have three times more brown body fat
01.03.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A better way to measure the stiffness of cancer cells

01.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Exploring the mysteries of supercooled water

01.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Research team of the HAW Hamburg reanimated ancestral microbe from the depth of the earth

01.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>