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Rotavirus that causes diarrhoea is known to claim hundreds of lives of children below the age of five worldwide, especially in developing countries. Unhygienic conditions, lack proper sanitary facilities exacerbate this situation. To tackle the virus that causes up to 10 lakh hospitalisations every year, India has indigenously developed a cheap and affordable vaccine against rotavirus. The vaccine called 'Rotavac' is developed by Bharat Biotech Ltd. is only the third vaccine against rotavirus available worldwide at a cost as less as Rs. 60 or 1USD. (Read:Rotavirus vaccine can reduce 26,985 deaths in India)
The vaccine was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is a result of 25 years of extraordinary effort. Modi hoped that the development of the rotavirus vaccine would inspire higher levels of research, development and manufacturing activities in India, not just in medical science, but also in other advanced areas of science and technology. He felt that solutions found in India would have great relevance to the rest of the world, especially the developing world. (Read: Affordable vaccine for rotavirus diarrhoea developed by Indian scientists)
Modi felicitated all the partners in the development of the first indigenous rotavirus vaccine, which involved the complete cycle from basic research to product development of this advanced vaccine in India, a PMO statement said. He lauded this initiative as an example of India's capabilities for high-end research and development; manufacture of sophisticated pharmaceutical products in India; and, effective Public-Private-Partnership model for finding affordable solutions to societal challenges.
He highlighted the vaccine as a successful example of collaboration between India and the United States in the area of medical research, for the benefit of ordinary citizens.
The vaccine has been developed under an innovative public-private partnership model. It involved partnership between the Ministry of Science and Technology, institutions of the US Government, various government institutions and NGOs in India, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the PMO statement said. Funding by the Government of India supported basic research in educational and scientific institutions in India. This was also supplemented by the support of US Government institutions like the National Institute of Health. The Gates Foundation and Bharat Biotech India Limited contributed towards product development and testing. Bharat Biotech India Limited that was involved in the development and production of the vaccine was selected in 1997-1998 by the India-US Vaccine Action Programme and the standard government procedures.
With inputs fro PTI
Image source: Getty Images
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