IVI, Rotary International Join Forces to Vaccinate against Cholera in At-risk Populations in Nepal
- Campaign to vaccinate about 27,000 people to prevent endemic cholera
- IVI Director General commends Rotary’s leadership and support, announces intent to provide additional vaccinations in developing countries through international collaboration
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI), Rotary International (District 3640, District 3710), Rotary Club of Seoul Southwest in Korea, and Rotary Club of Nagarjun in Nepal announced on January 9 their global health partnership that recently completed vaccination of about 27,000 people at risk of cholera in Nepal.
The vaccinations has been conducted in Banke, an area in southwest Nepal that borders with India, to protect people against cholera, a potentially fatal and highly contagious diarrheal disease. Cholera is endemic in Nepal, and people in the area are at high risk of cholera due to lack of clean water and limited sanitation and hygiene.
The vaccination campaign used a two-dose oral cholera vaccine, developed by IVI through a public-private partnership with groups that include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the governments of Korea and Sweden. Notably, the vaccine ‘Euvichol’ is produced by the Korean vaccine manufacturer EuBiologics who worked with IVI on its development and production following technology transfer from IVI. The vaccine is prequalified by the World Health Organization and is the first Korean-made cholera vaccine for global public health.
To ensure the vaccine reaches vulnerable populations, IVI collaborated with Rotary International and Nepalese health authorities to conduct the vaccination campaign, targeting residents one year old and up. The first round occurred on early December, and the second round in mid- to late December.
The vaccination campaign was led by Rotary Club of Seoul Southwest and International Rotary Districts 3640 and 3710, and was supported through a Global Grant from the Rotary Foundation. Collaborators in Nepal included the Nepalese Ministry of Health, Group for Technical Assistance (GTA), and other partners. The campaign was also supported by a number of Korean donors, including the Export Import Bank of Korea, the Kim & Chang CSR Committee, and Sartorius Korea Biotech.
The campaign followed previous efforts by IVI to deliver cholera vaccines in Nepal, which has annual cholera outbreaks. The situation was exacerbated due to the earthquakes in 2015 that destroyed the health infrastructure in some remote parts of the country. In 2015, the Institute conducted emergency vaccinations in Nuwakot and Dhading to contain sporadic cholera cases from spreading in the aftermath of the earthquakes.
IVI Director General Dr. Jerome Kim said, “Through a collaboration with Rotary and with support from donors, we were able to provide much-needed protection to people in cholera-prone areas in Nepal,” adding, “We hope this project will be the starting point to expand our partnership with Rotary International who successfully spearheaded the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with other partners.”
“Thanks to great support from our donors in Korea and elsewhere, we have been able to deliver vaccines to needy populations at risk of cholera,” Dr. Kim said, “We hope to see continued support from companies and donors in Korea so that we can protect more people against cholera.”
IVI, Korea Support Committee for IVI, and Rotary District 3640 exchanged a three-way memorandum of understanding in September this year with the view to conducting joint vaccination projects to prevent cholera among children in developing countries.
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is the world’s only international organization devoted exclusively to developing and introducing new and improved vaccines to protect the world’s poorest people, especially children in developing countries. Established in 1997, IVI operates as an independent international organization under a treaty signed by 35 countries and the World Health Organization. The Institute conducts research in more than 20 countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America on vaccines against enteric and diarrheal infections, Japanese encephalitis, MERS-CoV, and dengue fever, and develops new and improved vaccines at its headquarters in Seoul, Republic of Korea. For more information, please visit http://www.ivi.int.