Over 10,000 cases of extensively drug resistant (XDR) typhoid have been reported in Karachi and Hyderabad since 2016. As a result, an emergency vaccination drive was conducted in Hyderabad’s worst affected areas in 2018, administering the vaccine to 207,000 children under the age of 10.
Over the next 18 months, researchers monitored over 20,000 of these children. They found that 9 out of 10 children in their study did not contract the disease.
Dr Farah Qamar, a paediatrics and child health professor at AKU, stated that the findings corroborated those of another study in Nepal, adding that this strengthened the case for rolling out the vaccine across the country. She also discussed how lessons from the Hyderabad campaign had been applied in other areas of Sindh.
Now, another provincial campaign is being planned to immunise children between the ages of 9 months and 15 years, who had previously been missed, in March. According to the researchers, parents of missed children were keen to have them vaccinated.
Controlling and preventing water-borne diseases such as typhoid is a global health priority, with the Sustainable Development Goals calling for their eradication by 2030.