The International Vaccine Institute, the only international organization headquartered in Korea, will hold its Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting in Mozambique from April 8 to 10. The BOT, chaired by Prof. Sam Katz, emeritus professor at Duke University, will confirm Kuwait and Slovak Republic as new signatory countries.
Also, five new members representing IVI signatory countries will attend BOT for the first time. The countries include China, the Netherlands, Sweden, Indonesia and Vietnam, representing both developing and developed nations. By adding the representatives of signatory countries to BOT, the IVI intended to increase commitment and support by member states to the management and operation of the Institute.
The BOT meeting, which is to be held outside of Asia for the first time in IVI´s eight-year history, will be opened by the Mozambique Minister of Health. IVI decided to hold this year´s BOT meeting as a tribute to collaboration in the field of cholera between the IVI and Mozambique, one of its key partner countries. The collaborative study confirmed, for the first time, the safety and efficacy of an oral cholera vaccine, called rBS-WC, on a population with a huge HIV prevalence. The result of the study was published in the February 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Following the feat, the government of Korea donated $500,000 to IVI to help the Institute spearhead the creation of a global cholera vaccine stockpile for use in prevention or control of cholera outbreaks.
Dr. John Clemens, Director of the IVI, said "The study is just one example of our growing activities to accelerate the introduction of new life-saving vaccines for poor populations in sub-Saharan Africa, where infectious diseases still claim the lives of a disproportionate number of children every year."
The IVI is the world´s only international research organization devoted exclusively to research and development of new vaccines for the poor in developing countries. It has 35 countries and the World Health Organization as its members, and carries out research programs in 21 developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.