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Pneumonia vaccine - New tool to fight pneumonia in children in developing countries set for Kenya launch

Kenya, with the support of the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization (GAVI) is set to roll out pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) routinely throughout all health facilities with the aim of saving lives of thousands of infants from death and illness due to pneumococcal disease.
The ceremonial shots against pneumococcal diseases (mainly consisting of pneumonia and meningitis) will take place on Monday February, 14 when Kenya marks the global roll-out of vaccines targeting world’s biggest killer of children -- pneumonia. “Introducing the new pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in developing countries is a critical step that can prevent millions of bouts of illness and countless deaths in children from the terrible disease that pneumonia is”, said Helen Evans, Interim CEO of GAVI Alliance at a global media briefing on Friday in Geneva. 
Every year, the bacterium known as Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcal disease, hits more than 14.5 million people annually and kills more than 500,000 children, most of them in the poorest countries of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. In Kenya, Dr Shanaz Shariff, Director of Public Health, Ministry of Public health and Sanitation says at least 30, 000 Kenyan children under five years of age die due to pneumococcal disease.

GAVI Contact: Marina Krawczyk in Kenya, +41 79 340 1879 mobile, mkrawczyk@gavialliance.org
News - Published on 13-Feb-2011
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