8 November 2023 | Abuja, Nigeria - Nigeria Host the 14th African Rotavirus Symposium
In Africa, rotavirus is the most common severe diarrheal disease, and it accounts for over 450,000 deaths each year in children under five and is responsible for millions of hospitalisations and clinic visits. In response to this, the African Rotavirus Network (AfrRN) was established in 1998 in response to the needed attention to address the burden of the disease on the continent. The AfrRN comprises members of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO), Ministries of Health, and other partners.
Since 2000 the network of AfrRN members meets regularly bringing in influential speakers from around the world who are subject matter experts in diarrheal diseases to set the global agenda for rotavirus research and prevention. Over the years, this highly significant conference, sponsored by the African Rotavirus Network (AfrRN), has expanded from a half-day symposium to a three-day international conference hosted in different African countries.
This year, the 14th ARS organised under the auspices of the AfrRN is being co-hosted by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (FMOH &SW), , Paediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN), Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (APHPN) in partnership with WHO Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC).
In attendance will be rotavirus researchers, policymakers, clinicians, public health practitioners and health officials who will share ideas, expertise and learning across organisations and countries regarding rotavirus vaccine introduction and surveillance, vaccine impact and diarrheal disease prevention and control in Africa.
Over the span of this three-day symposium, approved abstracts of researchers, clinicians, public health practitioners and health officials on rotavirus and other diarrheal diseases will also be presented and exhibited to facilitate knowledge exchange towards improving the continent’s response to this deadly disease and shaping the agenda of rotavirus research and prevention in Africa and globally.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) is the country’s national public health institute, with the mandate to lead the preparedness, detection, and response to public health emergencies. The Bill for an Act to establish NCDC was signed into law in November 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari. The mission of the NCDC is to protect the health of Nigerians through evidence-based prevention, integrated disease surveillance and response, using a One Health approach, guided by research, and led by a skilled workforce.
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Dr Ifedayo Adetifa
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.