Experts convene at Riyadh to address need for prevention in KSA
- Saudi Arabia: Monday, March 04 - 2013 at 11:42
- PRESS RELEASE
Experts at the fields of research, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of pneumococcal disease from Saudi Arabia met in Riyadh recently to address the unmet need for pneumococcal disease prevention in the over-50s population in KSA.
This news is especially relevant in KSA, where cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus rates are a major public health problem.
Pneumococcal disease describes a group of illnesses caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae).
It remains a serious condition associated with high morbidity and mortality causing approximately 1.6 million deaths a year globally and is a leading cause of meningitis and blood infection, two types of invasive pneumococcal disease.
Age is an important risk factor for pneumococcal disease, placing millions of adults at risk worldwide. The meeting offered is an ideal opportunity for the experts attending to discuss the burden of pneumococcal disease among adults above 50 years, the remaining challenges in the region and vaccination strategies as an important component in advancing pneumococcal disease prevention in the adult population.
"As healthcare professionals, we have a pivotal role to play in preventing pneumococcal disease mortalities and morbidity, extending protection to as much of the population as possible, especially those above 50 years of age. As people age, their ability to fight infection declines, increasing the risk of contracting serious disease, such as pneumococcal disease. The role of pneumococcal disease prevention is essential in a population with a high prevalence of risk factors, which is what we face in KSA," said Dr. Antonio Torres, Medical Director of Pneumology & Respiratory Allergy, Clinical Institute of the Thorax. Hospital Clínic of Barcelona.
"In addressing the burden of pneumococcal disease, epidemiology and the impact of disease in adults has been examined extensively. Vaccination is recognized by the World Health Organization as one of the most cost-effective health interventions, as it is with invasive pneumococcal disease. People suffering with diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and chronic lung diseases and the over 50s population are encouraged to protect their health against invasive pneumococcal disease and prevention is the most effective protection," added Dr. Torres
In KSA, following the approval of the Ministry of Health, Pfizer has now launched the adult indication of its pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), against invasive pneumococcal disease for adults age 50 years and older. To support optimal outcomes for patients and reduce the burden of disease at the summit examined the potential impact of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs).
"By leveraging vaccination, we can fight the burden of disease and help provide adults over 50 with a new preventive health option at a crucial stage of their lives," concluded Dr. Torres.
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