All babies in the West Bank and Gaza – over 130,000 babies every year- are now receiving the potentially life-saving rotavirus vaccine. Beginning in 2016, RVF partnered with the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MOH) to provide for the universal vaccination of all infants in the West Bank and Gaza against rotavirus infection, which causes severe and potentially fatal diarrhea in babies. Rotavirus vaccination is now being fully sustained by the MOH. Rotavirus vaccine is considered essential for every child by the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control.
Mobile health clinics are helping ensure children in remote areas are able to receive the rotavirus vaccine.
RVF also helped the MOH switch to the ROTAVAC vaccine, working with PATH to assess the economic and epidemiological impact of this switch.
RVF’s Medical Director, Wolfgang Rennert, MD, also led an epidemiological study published by Oxford University Press in the Journal of Public Health on the impact of the rotavirus vaccine on the incidence and prevalence of life-threatening rotavirus disease in the West Bank and Gaza.
RVF provided the rotavirus vaccine over the course of three years, as well as ongoing training to local health care workers, who are the sole implementers of the program. The MOH has also been sustaining RVF’s pneumococcal vaccine program since 2013.