On August 1, Yemen became the first Middle Eastern country to introduce rotavirus vaccination with support from the GAVI Alliance, following rotavirus vaccine introductions in Botswana and the Republic of Moldova in July. Rotavirus vaccines are improving health and saving the lives of children throughout the world by protecting them from rotavirus diarrhea.
Forty percent of Yemeni children hospitalized for diarrhea have rotavirus and more than 7 percent of childhood deaths in Yemen are attributable to rotavirus. In Botswana, diarrhea causes 6 percent of deaths in children under age 5. Botswana joins Ghana, Rwanda and Sudan as well as South Africa and Zambia, which introduced rotavirus vaccination on a regional basis, in becoming the sixth African country to introduce rotavirus vaccines. The Republic of Moldova is the first country in Europe to introduce rotavirus vaccination with support from the GAVI Alliance.