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Preventing Childhood Infectious Diseases

We use several modalities to study and measure the broad impact of pneumococcal disease in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey, a representative sample drawn from the entire country, has identified pneumonia as the leading cause of death among children less than 5 years old in Bangladesh. Extrapolating mortality rates in the survey to the Bangladesh population, an estimated 90,000 children over 1 month and less than 5 years of age die from pneumonia every year in Bangladesh. Surveillance in 7 hospital has identified a wide range of pneumococcal serotypes leading to hospitalization and pneumonia as a leading cause of pediatric hospitalization. Urban community-based surveillance demonstrated an incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease equivalent to the incidence noted in the control group in the Gambia pneumococcal vaccine trial where pneumococcal vaccine was associated with decreased mortality. Rural surveillance demonstrated that serious invasive pneumococcal disease is common in rural areas. Together these data provide a strong scientific cause for the importance of preventing pneumococcal disease to child health in Bangladesh, and therefore the potential benefit of an effective vaccine. Upon vaccine introduction continued surveillance can assess the impact of pneumococcal vaccination on child health and circulating serotypes.

Among other preventable diseases, Hib is an important cause of childhood meningitis that cause both death and disabilities. Whereas, a vaccine against Haemophilous influenzae type B is available in the developing part of the world for more than last 15 years, it is going to be introduced in this country very recently.

Typhoid and Rotavirus are also common cause for childhood infectious diseases.



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