WASHINGTON - The Pneumococcal Awareness Council of Experts (PACE), will today present the 2008 PACE Global Leadership Award to the Rwandan Ministry of Health.
The award ceremony will take place at the Washington based U.S National Press Club and is organised by PACE. It recognises and honours Rwanda for her ground-breaking efforts in introducing a Pneumococcal vaccine in Africa.
According to organizers, this will make Rwanda one of the first two countries in Africa to vaccinate its children routinely against pneumococcal disease.
Rwanda intends to introduce the vaccine in January 2009.
“If the vaccine is introduced, Rwanda will immediately start to vaccinate children routinely against the Pneumococcal disease,” reads a press statement from PACE.
The special award is expected to be handed to the First Counsellor of the Rwandan Embassy in the US, Michael Rukata.
Rukata is expected to make some remarks during the ceremony which will also be attended by the Second Counsellor of the Embassy, Andrew Tusabe. Both are soon expected to fly to Rwanda to present the award to the Government.
Rwanda has managed to beat the highest rates of Pneumococcal infections and if the vaccine is introduced, the country will have the strongest Pneumococcal immunization programs in Africa.
Science indicates that when Pneumococcus bacteria invade the lungs, they cause the most common form of community-acquired bacterial pneumonia; when bacteria invade the bloodstream, they cause bacteremia; and when they invade the covering of the brain, they cause meningitis.