BALI, INDONESIA, May 1, 2015 - (ACN Newswire) - The Coalition against Typhoid (CaT), in collaboration with Bio Farma, began the 9th International Conference on Typhoid and Invasive NTS Disease in Bali, Indonesia, with more than 200 public health experts from around the world in attendance. Over the next three days, they will discuss strategies to combat typhoid and invasive non-typhoidal salmonella (iNTS) disease. Experts will present their research on disease burdens, the cost effectiveness of intervention strategies and global policy recommendations for invasive salmonelloses.
Typhoid impacts approximately 21 million people, causing more than 216,000 deaths annually - predominantly among children younger than 15. In addition, invasive non-typhoidal salmonellae cause an estimated 3.4 million illnesses and 681,316 deaths globally each year.
"Every child deserves the chance to live a healthy and productive life," said Dr. Mohamad Subuh, Director General of Disease Control and Enviromental Health of the Indonesian Ministry of Health. "In many countries in Asia and Africa, invasive salmonelloses remain a public health concern. We need to work together to improve diagnostic tools, develop efficacious vaccines and make treatment more accessible for vulnerable communities around the world."
Typhoid, the leading serotype of the invasive salmonella family, is treatable with antibiotics. However, resistance to commonly used antibiotics has emerged as a growing challenge. A lack of effective diagnostic test further complicates management. Together, these challenges underscore the need for increased use of typhoid vaccines in the short term. Despite a WHO recommendation to prioritize typhoid vaccines for "immediate" implementation, their use remains minimal in endemic settings.
"Vaccines provide an immediate solution to the human suffering caused by typhoid," said Imran Khan, Director of the CaT Secretariat at the U.S.-based Sabin Vaccine Institute. "We have made significant progress since the last international conference on typhoid in 2013 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Two conjugate vaccines have been licensed in India and six more are in clinical development and will be licensed in their country of manufacture by 2018. To continue this momentum, the Coalition against Typhoid will work with partners on the critical next steps: securing a revised immunization policy and financial commitment for typhoid conjugate vaccines."
The recent national licensure of typhoid conjugate vaccines in India - and their availability and use in the private market - represents a major milestone in typhoid prevention. These events lay the groundwork for expanding use of these vaccines in the public sector through national immunization programs. A conjugate vaccine could prevent 90 percent of typhoid cases and deaths, saving approximately 190,000 lives a year. These vaccines, which offer a longer duration of protection compared with earlier vaccines, is safe and can be used in infants as young as six months old.
"Bio Farma is proud to collaborate with the Coalition against Typhoid on this conference," said Iskandar, President Director of Bio Farma. "This event provides an opportunity for us to enhance our research capacity. Besides the development of the typhoid conjugate vaccine, we are now in the process of a pre-clinical trial for two new vaccines for measles and rubella (MR) and tuberculosis. It is my hope these efforts will have a lasting impact on the prevention of communicable diseases worldwide."
The 9th International Conference on Typhoid and Invasive NTS Disease is a landmark conference in addressing the global burden of invasive salmonella infections. The conference includes a research and public health focus on overcoming barriers to diagnosis, management and prevention of salmonella infections. More information on the agenda can be found at www.coalitionagainsttyphoid.org/typhoid-conference/.
About the Sabin Vaccine Institute
The Sabin Vaccine Institute is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization of scientists, researchers, and advocates dedicated to reducing needless human suffering caused by vaccine preventable and neglected tropical diseases. Sabin works with governments, leading public and private organizations, and academic institutions to provide solutions for some of the world's most pervasive health challenges. Since its founding in 1993 in honor of the oral polio vaccine developer, Dr. Albert B. Sabin, the Institute has been at the forefront of efforts to control, treat and eliminate these diseases by developing new vaccines, advocating use of existing vaccines and promoting increased access to affordable medical treatments. To learn more, please visit www.sabin.org.
About the Coalition against Typhoid
The Coalition against Typhoid (CaT) is a global forum of health and immunization experts working to expedite and sustain rational, evidence-based decisions at the global, regional, national and municipal levels regarding the use of typhoid vaccines to prevent enteric fever. CaT aims to define barriers to the adoption of typhoid vaccines in communities that would benefit most and the key activities that are needed to overcome them. For more information, please visit www.coalitionagainsttyphoid.org.
About Bio Farma
Bio Farma is the sole vaccine and antisera producer in Indonesia. Currently, the needs for EPI vaccines in Indonesia have been supplied solely by Bio Farma, which manufactures and distributes more than 1.7 billion doses of vaccines per year to meet the needs of the national immunization program. Bio Farma has an outstanding international reputation based on the WHO prequalification for all of its Expanded Program on Immunization vaccines (EPI) vaccine products. Bio Farma products are exported to countries around the world through the direct distribution or through various agencies such as UNICEF. With the philosophy "dedicated to improving the quality of life", Bio Farma plays an active role in improving the availability and self-reliance of vaccine production in developing countries and Islamic countries to maintain global health security. For more information, please visit www.biofarma.co.id.
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