The Kenya Medical Research Institute, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme and CDC-Kenya convened a full day Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) Stakeholders meeting on Tuesday 15th June 2022, in Nairobi. Ms. Joyce Nyiro, a Final year PhD candidate in the Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, Dr. Marianne Mureithi, Chair of the Department and Prof. Julius Oyugi, Director, UNITID were in attendance. Ms. Joyce Nyiro presented her PhD findings on the Economic Burden of RSV in Kenya and the Potential ways the health systems in Kenya could deliver the maternal vaccine.
The purpose of this meeting was two-fold. First, the meeting provided an update on new evidence on RSV disease and the economic burden in Kenya. Second, the meeting convened expert stakeholders who deliberated on feasible delivery strategies for a successful implementation of maternal immunization and other RSV prevention programs within the context of the Kenyan health system.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of acute lower respiratory illness (ALRI) among children in Kenya with no cost-effective preventive strategies currently available for use. Multiple maternal vaccine candidates as well as long-lasting monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), both designed to protect young infants against RSV illness are in relatively advanced stages of development and expected to be available for global use in the coming years. Global health agencies including WHO, Gavi and the BMGF have considered support for RSV interventions as the products become available. In September 2018, KEMRI held a technical meeting on epidemiology and control options of RSV in the Kenyan context, which brought together various in-country experts working in the field of RSV and vaccines to discuss RSV epidemiology in Kenya, within a global context of disease burden and vaccine development.