Updated on 6 November 2013
According to the WHO, typhoid impacts an estimated 21 million people and causes more than 216,000 deaths annually, mostly among pre-school and school-age children. The WHO reports that 90 percent of typhoid deaths occur in Asia. However, new evidence reveals hyper-endemic and epidemic typhoid in Africa.
"To have the greatest impact, typhoid vaccination efforts must be integrated with other intervention strategies such as clinical care and safe water and basic sanitation," said Dr Samir Saha from the Bangladesh Institute of Child Health at the Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Bangladesh. "But in Asia, a region where typhoid is highly endemic, China, Thailand and Vietnam are the only countries to have done this."
Ultimately, typhoid can be largely eliminated through improved water and sanitation systems. However, the development of such infrastructure requires significant capital investments beyond the near-term reach of most countries in the region. Until this can happen, safe, effective and affordable vaccines should be utilized together with timely access to appropriate clinical care.
Panelists of the VED Conference's Session on Typhoid Vaccines come from India, South Korea, the US and the United Kingdom.