In partnership with Rostropovich-Vishnevskaya Foundation (RVF) and through the financing of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Caritas Baby Hospital (CBH) has successfully completed a study characterizing the epidemiology of Rotavirus - the most prominent etiological agent of pediatric gastroenteritis - in Southern Palestine.
In alignment with the Palestinian Ministry of Health’s decision of introducing the Rotavirus vaccine to the national vaccination basket, the CBH medical research committee has initiated in 2018 its research on Rotavirus inoculation, particularly in regards to the recently WHO-approved vaccine known as Rotavac.
Rotavirus epidemiology was conducted in children aged 5 and below suffering from gastroenteritis caused by Rotavirus between the years 2016 and 2020. The study included samples taken from children before and after the introduction of the first Rotavirus vaccine Rotarix and after switching to the Rotavac vaccine.
The study concluded that the addition of the rotavirus vaccine to the Palestinian national vaccination basket has indeed remarkably reduced gastroenteritis presentation in the pediatric population.
Furthermore, it has been proven that the switch from the Rotarix to the Rotavac vaccine did not affect the continuous decline in rotavirus gastroenteritis. Consequently, this study supports the importance of maintaining Palestine’s sustainability in the provision of the rotavirus vaccine in the national immunization basket.
In light of the significance of the study and its outcomes, the cooperation between CBH and the same partners has been renewed to further study the effect of different rotavirus vaccines on the types of rotavirus that have been circulating in Palestine since the year 2015. CBH will evaluate these along with the genetic variations that rotavirus vaccines might have exerted on the wild-type virus.
CBH is proud to represent Palestine in this study can be characterized by its national and international healthcare implications on the utilization of the newly introduced Rotavirus vaccine.
Prepared by: Shaden Shaer