STOP AT ZERO: A United Front Against Rotavirus

"The Philippines make medical history by being the first Southeast Asian country to include 'Rotavirus' vaccination in National Immunization Program"


The Department of Health and the leading anti-Rotavirus advocacy group Rotavirus Organization for Training and Advocacy Philippines (ROTAPhil) are making medical history by working together to include rotavirus vaccination in its Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI). To date, the Philippines is the first Southeast Asian country to do so.



Last October 10, 2012, ROTAPhil invited us together with some friends from the media to a press conference. The speaker, Dr. Juliet Sio-Aguilar, an internationally known and respected Pediatric Gastroenterologist, presented their campaign called "Stop at Zero", an advocacy that aims to save the children of the world from the 2nd most leading child killing disease, diarrhea.   

Diarrhea is a passage of looser than normal stools at least three times in 24 hours. Rotavirus is the number 1 leading cause of death due to diarrhea among young children worldwide. Rotavirus diarrhea is devastating to young children. It is life-threatening, costly to treat and has long-term consequences on child's health and development.

The sick child will develop fever, nausea and vomiting. When diarrhea begins, the stools are generally watery, in large amounts and can lasts for 2-8 days. Dehydration is common and more severe and frequently leads to hospitalization.

Rotavirus diarrhea kills a child every minute. Annual deaths in less than 5 year old is 527,000 worldwide.



Rotavirus is everywhere. You only need a small dose to get contaminated. It is stable in the environment - can survive on hands for hours and days on solid surfaces.

How can we win the fight against Rotavirus?
  • Disease awareness - ask the doctor about Roravirus diarrhea
  • Early protection - experts recommend starting protection as early as 6 weeks of age
The good news is Rotavirus vaccine is now available in every local health center. It is important that the child get two doses of the vaccine from 6 weeks to 6 months of age. Beyond that, the doctors will not administer the vaccine as it may have harmful effects.

To all pregnant moms and parents who have infants, please visit the health center near you to know more about the rotavirus vaccine.
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