“Unless babies are vaccinated, almost all of them get rotavirus, the doctor told me. Having the vaccine available for free in Gaza can save babies and parents from so much suffering..”
– Majdoolin, first-time mother, Gaza City
The rotavirus vaccine, which RVF worked with the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MOH) to introduce in 2016, is already having a huge impact on young children in the West Bank and Gaza. In Gaza, there has already been a 28% reduction in rates of children aged three years and under hospitalized for diarrhea. In the West Bank, there are over a third fewer cases of severe diarrhea in children under five.
Rotavirus disease, which causes severe diarrhea, is a killer of infants and young children throughout the world. Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent rotavirus infection. All Palestinian babies now receive this life-saving vaccine. To date, nearly 350,000 infants have been fully immunized with coverage rates over 95%.
RVF expects rates of severe diarrhea in children to continue to decline as the universal vaccination of infants against rotavirus continues, even as RVF’s direct involvement with the program ends and the MOH continues to sustain this program in 2019. This significant reduction clearly indicates that this vaccine is already saving lives.
Find out more about RVF’s rotavirus vaccination program in the West Bank and Gaza by watching the video below or read more about RVF’s rotavirus program in the West Bank and Gaza here.
This initiative is made possible by generous funding from the Red Crescent of the UAE and USAID (USAID serves only the non-refugee Palestinian population in the West Bank). Additional support is provided from the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development and operational support from UNRWA, the UN Agency serving Palestinian refugees.