Doctors working in Pakistan say the new vaccine introduced to combat typhoid is “working very well” and is helping to end an almost incurable infection.
According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, bacterial outbreak cases have dropped by 80 percent during the new vaccine test.
In Pakistan, antibiotics – bacterial pesticides – have no effect on typhoid. That’s why 90 million children are currently being vaccinated in Sindh province.
Experts say the vaccine has reversed the fight against typhoid, and its use is likely to reduce typhoid deaths.
What is Typhoid Fever?
Typhoid fever is caused by a variety of highly infectious bacteria called Salmonella typhi. This bacteria spreads through contaminated food and water.
This disease is common in underdeveloped countries where cleanliness is not taken care of and clean water is not available.
The symptoms are as follows:
- Long-lasting fever
- Having a headache
- Not hunger
Typhoid can cause fatal complications such as internal bleeding. This happens to one in 100 individuals.
About 11 to 21 million people are infected every year around the world, and 128,000 to 161,000 deaths occur.
What happened during the vaccine experiment?
More than 20,000 children aged 16 months to 16 years participated in this experiment in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley.
In this region of Nepal, typhoid is a major public health problem.
In the first year, the number of children who received the vaccine was reduced by 81 percent.
Oxford University professor Andrew Pollard, who is part of the experiment, told, “The vaccine is doing well to protect the world’s most unsafe children from the disease.”
“The burden of typhoid is very high, we see people taking children to hospitals for treatment and they become poverty-stricken by the cost of treatment and treatment for antibiotics.”
“The arrival of this vaccine is a major moment in overcoming this disease.”
It will now be known how long the vaccine will protect children from Nepal, Malawi and Bangladesh included in the experiment.
Dr. Kathleen Newsell, director of the Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium, says the vaccine can ‘reduce illness’ and save lives in areas where there is a lack of sanitation and clean water.
Why is the vaccine needed?
The World Health Organization has warned that typhoid has developed a ‘very large’ immune to antibiotics and that the treatment available in the world has reached its limit.
Due to rapid migration to cities in developing countries, it is impossible for many countries to provide basic facilities such as clean water and toilet.
Although two vaccines are available for typhoid, neither of them can be given to children under the age of two. This means that the weakest children in the population are insecure.
How bad is the situation in Pakistan?
An extensive drug-resistant (XDR) typhoid fever outbreak is common in Pakistan with large-scale drug resistance.
Dr. Seth Berkeley, chief executive of the internationally-sponsored vaccine for backward countries, told: “At this time, a variety of typhoid in Pakistan is used in addition to an antibiotic. The treatment has developed immunity against all other antibiotics. This is pushing us towards a time when one-fifth of typhoid victims were killed. ‘
The typhoid outbreak began in November 2016 in Hyderabad, Sindh province, and more than 10,000 people have been engulfed.
Gavi is spending over one million children’s vaccinations in Sindh. Now Sindh province will become the first region in the world where the vaccine becomes part of routine immunization in childhood.
Dr. Berkeley says the vaccine has changed its way in the fight against typhoid, and there could be no better time for it to be discovered.
Professor Pollard says it is a great pleasure to have a vaccine in such a short amount of time that not only can prevent the disease but also help to eliminate the anti-bacterial drug.