GAVI supported rotavirus vaccines introduced in Zambia

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Following a successful pilot program delivering rotavirus vaccines as part of an integrated approach to diarrhoea prevention and control, in November 2013, Zambia rolled out GAVI-supported rotavirus vaccines nationwide. Rotavirus, the most common cause of severe and fatal diarrhoea in young children worldwide, takes the lives of over 3,600 Zambian children under five each year and accounts for approximately 40 percent of all under-five diarrhoeal deaths and hospitalisations. Zambia is the 18th GAVI-eligible country to introduce rotavirus vaccines in its national immunisation program. (credit VITAC-PATH)

27 November 2013


  • Zambia 360
    CIDRZ/Cheri Reid
    Health workers march proudly to first vaccination ceremony with a banner reinforcing the key public health message that rotavirus vaccines are a critical part of a comprehensive strategy to prevent diarrhoea, a leading killer of young children in Zambia.
  • Zambia 22
    CIDRZ/Dan Hartwright Photography 2013
    Her Royal Highness Chieftainess Mwenda of the Mazabuka District looks on as the marchers arrive at the Kaleya Clinic ground and prepares to welcome the crowd.
  • Zambia 12
    CIDRZ/Dan Hartwright Photography 2013
    The Mazabuka Police Brass band leads a crowd to the rotavirus vaccine launch site at Kaleya Clinic in Mazabuka Province. Mazabuka is the pilot district for Zambia’s national launch of the GAPPD, the WHO and UNICEF plan that includes rotavirus vaccination as part of a comprehensive strategy to prevent and control diarrhoea and pneumonia.
  • Zambia 26
    CIDRZ/Dan Hartwright Photography 2013
    Large crowds of school children watch the performances at the ceremony. Rotavirus, the most common cause of severe and fatal diarrhoea, takes the lives of over 3600 Zambian children under five each year.
  • Zambia Ministry of Health
    Minister of Community Development
    Honourable Dr Joseph Katema, Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, speaks with Lisa Chinyama, the mother of the first child to be vaccinated during the ceremony, as a community health worker prepares the vaccines.
  • Zambia 34
    CIDRZ/Dan Hartwright Photography 2013
    Three mothers review brochures from the Programme for the Awareness and Elimination of Diarrhoea (PAED) about the correct use of Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) and zinc. Zambia conducted a pilot introduction of rotavirus vaccines in Lusaka province in 2012 through PAED.
  • Zambia 189
    CIDRZ/Dan Hartwright Photography 2013
    Honourable Dr Joseph Katema, Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, administers the rotavirus vaccine to the first infant at the ceremony. The power of rotavirus vaccines to prevent deaths and hospitalisations, underscores the potential for Zambia’s introduction of rotavirus vaccines to save children’s lives.

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