key idea The conditions present in humanitarian emergency settings can lead to the re-emergence of previously controlled diseases, threatening global disease control and eradication efforts.
key results The ongoing conflict in Syria has caused the breakdown of immunization services, leading to outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases in the region, and to the re-emergence of polio in Syria for the first time in 15 years. The potential for polio to re-emerge in neighboring areas with low coverage of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) threatens the success of global efforts to eradicate polio.
key idea Vaccines like Hib, PCV and rotavirus have been found to be cost-effective means to reduce the especially high burden of pneumonia and diarrhea borne by children living in humanitarian crisis settings.
key results In a study modeling the cost-effectiveness of vaccination campaigns in Somalia – the country with the second largest number of refugees in 2012 – the use of Hib vaccine, PCV10, or both Hib and PCV10 were all found to be cost effective means to prevent excess morbidity and mortality from pneumonia in young Somali children. Such a vaccination campaign could conservatively reduce pneumonia cases and deaths by nearly 20%.
key results Children living in the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan in 2013 were found to have an elevated rate of pneumonia infections likely due to malnutrition, overcrowding, and inadequate shelter. Using these data, the CDC estimated that the use of Hib and pneumococcal vaccines in children under 2 years of age in the camp would be cost-effective under all dosing scenarios evaluated. Medecines Sans Frontiers (MSF) provided medical services to this refugee camp and found delivery of these vaccines to be feasible and effective in this setting.Gargano LM, Hajjeh R, Cookson ST. Pneumonia prevention: Cost-effectiveness analyses of two vaccines among refugee children aged under two years, Haemophilus influenzae type b-containing and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines, during a humanitarian emergency, Yida camp, South Sudan. Vaccine. 2017; 35(3): 435-441.
key results Large measles outbreaks occurred in Lebanon and Jordan, following an influx of Syrian refuges migrating to escape conflict. In Lebanon, the measles incidence increased 200-fold in one year following high migration. There were 2.1 measles cases per million population in Lebanon in 2012; this increased to 411 cases in 2013.