United against RSV-associated childhood mortality

RSV causes up to 40% of all pneumonia cases before 1 year of age and is the world’s leading cause of pneumonia deaths in under 6-month-olds. 99% of RSV-associated mortality occurs in LMICs. As promising strategies for RSV prevention (including maternal vaccination) are on the horizon, the chance to combat this prevalent virus has never been better. Currently, awareness of RSV is low amongst patients, policymakers, and healthcare providers, especially in LMICs. RSV awareness is crucial for equitable global implementation of emerging preventive strategies.

To this end, we have launched the global awareness project: 100xGOLD. 100xGOLD aims to deliver 100 presentations on RSV-associated mortality given by our global network of GOLD ambassadors over 1 year in LMIC settings.

To achieve this goal, we have established a global collaborative network which we always aim to expand. Those who complete a presentation will be named GOLD ambassadors and will receive a certificate and will be mentioned here on the RSVGOLD website as well as potential publications. Interested in collaborating and becoming a GOLD ambassador? E-mail us via 100xGOLD@umcutrecht.nl.

First 100xGOLD presentation in The Gambia

We are thrilled to announce that on May 3, 2023, our 100xGOLD project has officially kicked off with a remarkable presentation by Dr. Lamin Makalo, the Site Principal Investigator of the RSV GOLD III ICU Network Study at the Department of Paediatrics at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul, The Gambia. Lamin’s talk on RSV received a positive response from his colleagues, who showed great enthusiasm and support for our mission. This successful event marks the beginning of a series of upcoming presentations that will further raise awareness about RSV and the critical importance of our project.

100xGOLD presentation wins poster competition

Dr. Rupesh Shrestha has done a terrific job by raising RSV awareness via a poster presentation on the Nepal Paediatric Society 20th National Conference. The conference was held in Kathmandu, Nepal from 11 to 13 May. We want to congratulate Dr. Rupesh Shrestha on this great achievement and also on winning the poster competition at the conference.  

Dr. Rupesh Shrestha at the Nepal Paediatric Society 20th National Conference
Presentation on RSV burden by Dr. Tufária Mussá and Dr. Esperança Guimarães

100xGOLD presentation in Mozambique

On the 24th of May, prof. dr. Tufária Mussá and Dr. Esperança Guimarães gave a very insightful presentation about the RSV burden on the Intensive Care Unit and the costs of RSV hospitalization. We are delighted to share that a diverse audience was present with multiple stakeholders from the Ministry of Health, Expanded Programme on Immunization, Family Health department and PATH.

100xGOLD presentation raised RSV awareness at the University of Ghana

On the 17th of July, Comfort Nuamah Antwi hosted a 100xGOLD presentation at the IMCS PAX Romana -University Ghana local graduate cell. Out of the 24 participants, only 1 person knew of RSV prior to the meeting. The audience was surprised by the disease burden of RSV and that there is yet little awareness among the general public. The presentation led to an engaging discussion where participants where activated and inspired to undertake action on RSV.

To conclude, we wanted to share a great quote by Comfort Nuamah Antwi:

“In Ghana, for example, some health personnel themselves do not have knowledge of the occurrence of RSV infections. So, the best we can do now is to raise awareness of RSV and get it to be well-known as other respiratory pathogens such as COVID-19 and Influenza. If there is increased awareness about the disease burden, then both individuals and health personnel will put in preventive measures and stakeholders will be drawn to invest in the cure of the disease”

Online 100xGOLD presentation about RSV burden in South-Africa

Dr. Charl Verwey, paediatric pulmonologist at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, has hosted an online 100xGOLD presentation about the RSV burden in South-Africa. The presentation entailed a great and detailed description about the burden of RSV, as well as the possible solutions such as maternal vaccinations.

100xGOLD presentation in French to the Société Haïtienne de Pédiatrie

On 22 august 2023, Jacqueline Gautier M.D., Pascale Gassant M.D. and Lynda Abicher M.D. hosted a 100xGOLD presentation together for the Société Haïtienne de Pédiatrie in Haïti. They presented preliminary results on RSV-GOLD network studies which are being executed in the Hôspital Saint Damien in Haïti and the St. Jude Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, among many other sites. The presentation also included a quiz where the audience was challenged to answer questions about the burden and awareness of RSV. The challenge how to prevent noscomial RSV infections in crowded emergency rooms was discussed and people felt activated and empowered by the presentation. We want to congratulate Jacqueline Gautier, Pascale Gassant, Lynda Abicher and all participants of the meeting for their great accomplishment in combatting RSV.

Dr. Jacqueline Gautier giving a presentation on RSV burden in French to the Sociéte Haïtienne de Pédiatrie