24 February 2015

Pneumococcal disease is a group of diseases caused by a bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Diseases caused by pneumococcus include severe & life-threatening diseases such as meningitis (inflammation or swelling of tissues around the brain), pneumonia (infection of respiratory tract) and bacteraemia (presence of bacteria in the blood); and milder diseases with higher morbidity such as sinusitis and middle ear infection. Moreover, pneumococcal resistance to antimicrobials has been increasing worldwide leading to difficulty in treatment and putting pressure and burden on health care system as well as on the entire society when antibiotics become less and less effective.

With the commitment to share responsibility for the health of Vietnamese children in general and to provide solutions against pneumococcal diseases in particular, GlaxoSmithKline Pte Ltd (GSK) Vietnam has collaborated with Vietnam Preventive Medicine Association, HCM Preventive Medicine Center, local and international leading experts to organize a symposium “Solution to protect children from pneumococcal diseases.” with the participation of physicians nation-wide to update them on the burden of diseases caused by pneumococcus and solutions to prevent these diseases by vaccination at early age.

William Hausdorff – Head of Scientific Affairs & Public Health said: “We have invested about 15 years for R&D to develop pneumococcal vaccine to prevent pneumococcal diseases. This vaccine has been licensed in 120 countries and included in the UMV in 40 countries. The efficacy and safety has been proven via clinical trials as well as real world impact with over 200 million doses distributed worldwide to Latin America, Europe, Canada, Asia, Oceania and Pacific Coast. Each vial of the vaccine has been tested on quality with 520 tests before distributing to the markets. It is a part of our commitment on quality that we are pursuing.”

Doctor Pham Thi My Lien, General Manager GSK Vietnam shares her thoughts: “We are very delighted that Vietnamese children can now be protected from pneumococcal diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, bacteriemia, and acute otitis media by vaccination. A healthy community consists of healthy individuals and our responsibility is to protect children from preventable diseases”

Children still suffer the consequences of diseases caused by pneumococcus and we continue to witness many cases of death due to pneumonia or meningitis while proven effective measures have not been disseminated widely such as strengthening natural protection, enhancing a good environment, providing sufficient nutritional scheme, encouraging early breast feeding and hand washing; and more importantly, vaccination. Let’s join hands to help our children have good care to prevent diseases.