[News & Event] NGOs Try Power in Numbers Approach in Call to Action against Diarrheal Disease

Center for Global Development, May 2009

Scott Kniaz, program coordinator on the Global Health Team at the Center for Global Development, discusses the comprehensive advocacy approach embodied in the recently launched Call to Action against diarrheal disease: “Understanding that the causes and effects of this disease are widespread, its civil society supporters must also be drawn from many corners.”

[News & Event] Diarrheal disease: the long-ignored killer of millions

IPIU, May 2009

Shanely Knox highlights the preventable nature of diarrheal disease and makes a case for simple solutions that deserve more attention, using stories from the field and input from experts.

Read the full article.

[News & Event] Sanitation vs. vaccination in cholera control

IRIN, May 2009

International Vaccine Institute director John Clemens argues for a coordinated effort against diarrheal diseases. “It is a false dichotomy to pit sanitation against vaccination,” he asserts. “Progressively, people are thinking about how water sanitation and vaccinations can work together.”

Read the full article.

[News & Event] The possibility of a pandemic and the reality of diseases that kill

The Huffington Post, May 2009

Author Richard Chin advocates for action against diarrheal disease--the second leading cause of death in children--and urges readers to join the fight against this "senseless killer."

Read the full article.

[News & Event] It's 2009. Do you know where your soul is?

New York Times, April 2009

An op-ed column by Bono, co-founder of the advocacy group ONE, highlights rotavirus as a "killer pest" that our aid money would be well spent on. "It's not charity, it's justice."

Read the full article.

[News & Event] RotaTeq® receives WHO pre-qualification—Significant step in Merck's efforts to expand global access to rotavirus vaccine

Medical News Today, October 2008

WHO prequalification is an important milestone for making new rotavirus vaccines available for procurement by UNICEF and the GAVI Alliance, increasing access for the developing world.

Read full article here.

[Topic Page] Rotavirus vaccines


NOTE: This webpage is the new home of many resources previously listed on PATH’s Rotavirus Vaccine Access and Delivery website ( 

Rotavirus vaccines protect against the leading cause of severe childhood diarrhea, and the World Health Organization recommends their introduction in all countries.1

Rotavirus causes about one-third of child deaths due to diarrhea. Worldwide, 215,000 rotavirus deaths were recorded in 2013, and the vast majority of these occurred in developing countries of Africa and Asia.Nearly every child in the world is at risk, regardless of hygiene, sanitation, or access to clean water. Rotavirus infections cannot be treated with antibiotics or other drugs.Mild rotavirus infections can be treated effectively with oral rehydration therapy until the disease runs its course, but children with severe rotavirus diarrhea urgently need intravenous fluids or they risk dying from dehydration. In low-income countries, this type of urgent health care is often inaccessible or unavailable, making rotavirus prevention through vaccination critical to saving children’s lives.   

Vaccines are the best way to protect children from rotavirus and the dehydrating diarrhea that it can cause.Two globally available rotavirus vaccines are dramatically improving the health and well-being of children around the world by substantially reducing severe diarrhea. Many of the countries that have introduced rotavirus vaccines into their national immunization programs have observed swift and significant declines in hospitalizations and deaths due to rotavirus and other causes of diarrhea.3 The vaccines also are indirectly protecting those who are too young or too old to receive vaccination, through herd immunity.4 Rotavirus vaccines are cost-effective and not only improve child health, but also save lives.

PATH is working with Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance and other partners to ensure that all children have access to rotavirus vaccines, no matter where they live. We also are collaborating with manufacturers to accelerate the development of new vaccines against rotavirus, as well as other causes of severe diarrhea. As part of an integrated package of interventions that includes ORS, zinc, breastfeeding, nutrition, and sanitation/hygiene, rotavirus vaccination is one of the best ways to prevent death from diarrhea.

Back to top

1 WHO. Rotavirus vaccines: WHO Position Paper – January 2013.Weekly Epidemiological Record. 2013;88(5):49-64.

Jacqueline E. Tate, Anthony H. Burton, Cynthia Boschi-Pinto, and Umesh D. Parashar. Global, Regional, and National Estimates of Rotavirus Mortality in Children <5 Years of Age, 2000–2013. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2016;62 (suppl 2): S96-S105. 

3 Patel MM, Parashar US, eds. Real World Impact of Rotavirus Vaccination. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2011;30(1).

4 Anderson E, Shippee D, Weinrobe M, et al. Indirect Protection of Adults From Rotavirus by Pediatric Rotavirus Vaccination. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2013;[e-pub].

Photo: PATH

[Press release] New Vaccine special edition on rotavirus burden data chronicles a decade of rotavirus surveillance in Asia

Mon, 11/23/2009


This special edition of the journal Vaccine focuses on the rotavirus burden in Asia, where the disease is responsible for almost half of acute diarrhea hospitalizations among Asian children under five. The edition goes on to encourage scientists to become advocates for the life-saving rotavirus vaccine.

Read the full press release.

[Page] Government of Kenya Unveils New Policy to Combat Diarrheal Disease

On March 31, 2010, the Government of Kenya stepped out as a regional leader in the renewed fight against DD—unveiling an updated national policy to manage and control diarrheal disease.  The policy, which highlights traditional and new interventions like ORS, breastfeeding, zinc, hygiene, and forthcoming interventions including rotavirus vaccines, shows Kenya’s commitment to addressing diarrheal disease through a comprehensive approach.

[Press release] New Policy Unveiled to Combat Diarrhoeal Disease, a Leading Killer of Kenyan Children

Wed, 03/31/2010


Government of Kenya’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation, together with the Department of Family Health (Division of Child and Adolescent Health), unveiled a renewed set of national policy guidelines to redouble diarrhoeal disease management and control efforts by putting proven interventions to work within the country’s health system.

Read the full press release here.