Over the years, this highly significant conference, sponsored by the African Rotavirus Network (AfrRN), has expanded from a half-day symposium to a three-day international conference, helping to set the global agenda for rotavirus research and prevention while bringing in influential speakers from around the world who are experts in diarrheal diseases. The WHO Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO), Ministries of Health, and other partners are part of the regional network of institutions known as the AfrRN that is engaged in paediatric diarrheal illness research.
The AfrRN was established in 1998 in response to the need to treat diarrheal sickness, a continent-wide illness that has not received enough attention in Africa, determine the diversity of circulating strains, the burden of rotavirus disease, and raise awareness of rotavirus sickness in Africa, in particular. Since the initial ARS in South Africa in 2000, other further symposia have been organized in various African nations.
The ARS series aims to bring together African rotavirus researchers, policy-makers, clinicians, public health practitioners, and health officials to share ideas, expertise, and learning across organizations and countries in the areas of the introduction of the rotavirus vaccine, the vaccine's effect, and the prevention and control of diarrheal disease in Africa.
The 14th ARS organised under the auspices of the AfrRN and hosted by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Paediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN), Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (APHPN) in partnership with WHO Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC).
The symposium organisers are reaching out to rotavirus researchers, policymakers, clinicians, public health practitioners and health officials to attend in order to share ideas, expertise and learning across organizations and countries in the areas of rotavirus vaccine introduction and surveillance, vaccine impact and diarrheal disease prevention and control in Africa.