PH@UM Global Health Series: Global Contributions of Native American Populations towards Child Survival

PH@UM Global Health Series: Global Contributions of Native American Populations towards Child Survival


06 Mar 2019    
12:00 - 13:00


TJ Danaraj Auditorium
TJ Danaraj Auditorium, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, 50603

Event Type

The Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence-based Practice, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya is organizing the following talk: PH@UM Global Health Series: Global Contributions of Native American Populations towards Child Survival by Prof Dr Mathuram Shantosam on the 6th March 2019, 12.00pm to 1.00pm at TJ Danaraj Auditorium, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya.

Native American Populations (NAP)have had the highest rates of childhood Infectious Diseases (ID) in Western Countries. They have also made enormous contributions to the control of ID globally. For example, the initial successful treatment of Trachoma with sulfonamides was demonstrated among NAP. Some of the initial studies on Oral Rehydration Therapy were done among the White Mountain Apache Tribe. ORT is credited with saving over 50 million lives in the past four decades. Several vaccine trials on the NA populations have led to the licensure and dissemination of vaccines that have saved millions of lives.

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About the Speaker

Professor, International Health and Paediatrics, Director Emeritus, Center for American Indian Health, Senior Advisor, International Vaccine Access Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
Dr. Santosham is internationally known for his work on oral rehydration therapy, childhood vaccines and dissemination of pediatric prophylactics to vulnerable populations worldwide. Working in partnership with Native American communities, he conducted landmark vaccine efficacy trials, including rotavirus vaccine, H. influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccine, and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Native American children used to die from these diseases at rates 10 to 50 times the US average. Through his advocacy, these vaccines now save 3 to 5 million lives a year in the US and across the globe. In addition, Dr. Santosham worked with the White Mountain Apache Tribe to pioneer the use of oral rehydration solution (ORS), now known as “Pedialyte” in the US. Based on this evidence, ORS has become the standard of care for treating diarrheal dehydration, and is credited with saving 60 million lives since 1980. Dr. Santosham has become a global leader in the national and international dissemination of these public health strategies worldwide.

Dr. Santosham serves on numerous national and international committees to promote childhood health throughout the world. He consults for numerous international agencies including WHO, USAID, UNICEF and the Gates Foundation on aspects of child survival in over 30 countries. He is the author of over 280 peer-reviewed journals and serves as a reviewer for several international medical journals. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Thrasher Research Fund Award for Excellence in Research (1988), Maurice Hilleman Lecturer at CDC (2008), and the Bob Austrian Orator, for International Symposium on Pneumococcas and Pneumococcal Disease (2006). He was also awarded the Indian Health Service Directors Award for Career Service in 2011, recognizing his personal dedication, commitment and contribution to the overall Indian Health Service Research Program and the global impact of his work. He received the Albert Sabin Gold Medal Award on April 29th, 2014. The Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal has been awarded annually since 1994 to a distinguished member of the research community who has made extraordinary contributions in the field of Vaccine sciences or a complementary field. On Oct 7th, 2014, he received the 2014 Fries Prize for Improving Health, “For his seminal research, vaccine development, policy, and advocacy toward the global prevention of Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) disease saving each year more than 370,000 children’s lives. He is currently the chair of the ROTA Council which is an organization that is dedicated to advocating for the use of rotavirus vaccines around the world particularly in Asia and Africa. In January 2018, he was awarded the Prince Mahidol Award for Public Health for his work on Hib vaccines especially his role in ensuring that the vaccine is made available to all children around the world which is estimated to save 1.5 to 2 million lives by 2020.