Research into diarrhoea vaccines underway
A vaccine to protect children against diarrhoea caused by viruses is expected to be available in Ghana in two years.
Trial into the rota virus vaccine is going on in some Africa counties including Ghana and it is expected that the vaccine, an oral one, would be ready for use alongside routine vaccines such as polio under the Expanded Programme on Immunization.
Prof. George Armah of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research said the rota virus vaccines were already in use in developed countries but had been found not to be effective in treating diarrhoea in children in developing countries such as Ghana.
He was speaking at a forum in Accra on the theme; ”Malaria, any link with other diseases.” The forum was organized the African Media and Malaria Research Network and attended by Journalists and scientists.
Prof Armah said deaths associated with rota virus diarrhoea in children, were high and a common condition among children.
He said there were other causes of diarrhoea such as those from bacteria but this could be contained by good sanitary habits and clean environment.
He said those brought on by a virus and could only be prevented by drug intervention such as vaccines.
Prof Armah said some symptoms of diarrhoea in children include severe dehydration, fever and vomiting which needed to be treated promptly by the right intervention.
He said there 25 sites currently conducting trials for a suitable rota virus vaccines for Africa and mentioned Ghana, Kenya and Mali as some of the research centres.