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Report of the third meeting of the scientific working group on viral diarrhoeas: microbiology, epidemiology, immunology and vaccine development, [held in] Geneva, 1-3, February 1984.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, . 19p.The current status of the Scientific Working Group Program is reviewed, showing an expansion of activities in both its health services component (planning, implementation and evaluation of national diarrheal diseases control programs) and its research component (biomedical and operational). Submission of research proposals is encouraged by the Steering Committee (SC), namely those investigating the etiological role of viral agents in diarrheal disease and the epidemiology of these agents. Recently, the SC has made a particular effort to stimulate research in the area of immunology of viral enteric infections, which has been a generally neglected area. Other important areas of Program activity include site visits to review progress made by its projects, to participate in the initial design or the analysis of studies, or to stimulate general interest among research workers in the activities of the SWG. Workshops have also been initiated and conducted in WHO regions. The SWG notes with satisfaction the progress of the Program and commends the SC's efforts to stimulate and support research activities. SWG recommendations bear on the need for more data on the etiology and epidemiology of diarrhea in the community and the encouragement of further community-based studies. Particular attention should also be given to the preparation of reagents for the serotyping and subgrouping of rotaviruses. Moreover, the Group recommends that research strengthening workshops be continously held. In addition to the review of the meeting and recommendations, this paper includes a report on active and passive immunity to viral diarrheas. Special attention is given to rotavirus diarrhea as it tends to be common and quite severe. Its epidemiology is briefly presented, showing its incidence, seasonality (winter) in temperate climates, age-specific occurrence (most severe in infants and young children) and transmission (fecal-oral, person-to-person). Neonatal ans sequential postneonatal rotavirus infection are addressed ans issues for further investigation clarified; e.g., the relationship between low birth weight and the occurrence and severity of infection. Much remains to be elucidated regarding the serotyping-specific epidemiology of rotaviruses. The Group notes that further immunological studies of rotaviruses are essential to elucidate the role of passive protection. The other area of study in which research activities need to concentrate is vaccine development.
BULLETIN OF THE PAN AMERICAN HEALTH ORGANIZATION. 1984; 18(2):188-92.Outbreaks of yellow fever in recent years in the Americas have prompted concern about the possible urbanization of jungle fever. Vaccination, using the 17D strain of yellow fever virus, provides an effective, practical method of large scale protection against the disease. Because yellow fever can reappear in certain areas after a 2-year dormancy period, some countries maintain routine vaccination programs in areas where jungle yellow fever is endemic. The size of the endemic area (approximately half of South America), transportation and communication difficulties, and the inability to ensure a reliable cold chain are problems facing these programs. In addition, the problem of reaching dispersed and isolated populations has been addressed by the use of mobile teams, radio monitoring, and educational methods. During yellow fever outbreaks, many countries institute massive vaccination campaigns, targeted at temporary workers and migrants. Because epidemics in South America may involve extensive areas, these campaigns may not effectively address the problem. The ped-o-jet injector method, used in Brazil and Colombia, should be used in outbreak situations, as it is effective for large-scale vaccination. Vaccine by needle, suggested for maintenance programs, should be administered to those above 1 year of age. An efficient monitoring method to avoid revaccination, and to assess immunity, should be developed. The 17D strain produces seroconversion in 95% of recipients, and most is prepared in Brazil and Colombia. But, problems with storage methods, instability in seed lots, and difficulties in large-scale production were identified in 1981 by the Pan American Health Organization and WHO. The group recommended modernization of current production techniques and further research to develop a vaccine that could be produced in cell cultures. Brazil and Colombia have acted on these recommendations, modernizing vaccine production and researching thermostabilizing media for yellow fever vaccine.
INFECTION CONTROL. 1984 Nov; 5(11):538-41.In 1978 the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MHSW) of Liberia launched the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) with the 5-year objective of establishing an 80% reduction in child mortality and morbidity from measles, polio, diphtheria, neonatal tetanus, pertussis, and tuberculosis. The program at first adopted a strategy of using 15 mobile units in 11 operational zones to deliver vaccinations throughout the country. However, by 1980, despite support from the Baptist World Alliance, the UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the World Health Organization (WHO), it became evident that the mobile strategy was neither economically feasible nor practical. Therefore, with support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the EPI shifted to a strategy of integrating immunization activities into the existing network of state health facilities. After 5 years, in 1982, the Program was evaluated by a team from the MHSW, WHO, USAID, and the Centers for Disease Control. The evaluating team felt that the EPI's strategy was good, but its goals were not being achieved due to deficiencies in funding, clinic supervision, and rural community outreach, as well as shortages of kerosene and spare parts needs to keep the essential refrigerators in operating condition. Measles remains endemic; in the capital, Monrovia, only 9% of the children have been vaccinated against it. Immunization coverage is particularly low in the capital the countries. Other reasons for low vaccination coverage in Liberia are lack of community awareness of existing facilities and the importance of vaccination and lack of coordination at the community level to use the existing facilities efficiently. International assistance is still needed, especially to develop heat-stable vaccines, so that maintenance of refrigerators will not be necessary.
New York, New York, UNICEF, . 42 p.In the last 12 months, world-wide support has been gathering behind the idea of a revolution which could save the lives of up to 7 million children each year, protect the health and growth of many millions more, and help to slow down world population growth. This document summarizes case studies which illustrate the techniques which make this revolution possible. These techniques are: oral rehydration therapy (ORT); growth monitoring; expanded immunization using newly improved vaccines to prevent the 6 main immunizable diseases which kill an esitmated 5 million children a year and disable 5 million more (measles, whooping cough, neonatal tetanus, polio, diphtheria and tuberculosis); and the promotion of scientific knowledge about the advantages of breastfeeding and about how and when an infant should be given supplementary foods. Results are summarized from Guatemala, Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Barbados, the Philippines, Nicaragua and Honduras, Malawi, China, Nepal, Bangladesh, Colombia, and Ethiopia. The impact of economic recession and female education on childrens' health is discussed, and basic statistics for developed and underdeveloped countries are given.