Mozambique launching rotavirus vaccine

Some of you might remember the banner we had in display in GSK house announcing the patent registration of Rotavirus vaccine some time back. Rotavirus vaccine protects children from rota-viruses, which are a leading cause of severe diarrhea in infants and young kids. Each year around 453.000 children die due to rotavirus worldwide.

Mozambique is launching rotavirus as we speak, after two years of delays and few bureaucratic hiccups, the first shipment of rotavirus is coming from GSK Belgium to Maputo next week!. In terms of logistics, this launch will mean an increase of 58% of the volumes going through a supply system that isn’t functioning well already.

We have been working with the Ministry of Health Immunization team to plan the distribution at a national level to gain coverage nationwide by the 4th of Sep. This planning has proven very challenging as one of the two cold trucks that were ready to distribute to the provinces is broken…so we have one cold truck to distribute a vaccine in a country that is 2.400 kilometers long and has only one central warehouse down south. We are searching for other cost effective alternatives to distribute and designing routes that can make the best use of the only truck available.

This management crisis has come at a cost, the three regional workshops that we were tirelessly working for to engage people on the field to think about sustainable supply solutions for the medium to long term have been cancelled. The Diana’s team (Dianna Lourenco, a colleague from the NGO and me) came up with a plan B: run workshops province by province (there is 11 of them), so expect a few pictures of me travelling to one of Africa’s last frontiers, rural Mozambique.