Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    Mothers line up for vaccine: At a rural clinic in Pantasma, Nicaragua, mothers await the arrival of the life-saving vaccine that will protect their children against rotavirus. Rotavirus is a preventable and treatable diarrheal disease that causes 500,000 deaths each year among infants and young children.
    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    Vaccine touches down in Nicaragua: Flown directly from the manufacturing plant in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, the vaccine arrives by plane in Managua, Nicaragua. Two hundred miles from the clinic, it is still hours from reaching the children who need it.
    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    'Cold Chain' is Key: Nicaraguan health officials transport the vaccine in an insulated box to maintain the "cold chain," a system by which the temperature is controlled in each stage from manufacturing to distribution. If the vaccine falls below 35 degrees or rises above 46 degrees, it is no longer usable.
    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    Traveling by truck: The journey continues by truck as the vaccine makes its way through Jinotega, Nicaragua, a town one hundred miles northwest of Managua. It took ten years of research and sixteen years of development before scientists could make the vaccine available to children.
    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    From truckbed to horseback: When the truck encounters a riverbed, the vaccine is transferred to horseback, its third method of transportation. In 2006, Nicaragua became the first developing nation to receive a vaccine the same year as the developed world.
    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    A delicate balance: Horsemen Julio Mesa Zelodon and his son Santos delicately balance their cargo across the rocky terrain. The vaccine is often transported by horse, donkey or boat to reach the country's most remote areas.
    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    End of the Road: After 2,000 total miles traveled, the blue box of vaccine finally arrives at the clinic in Pantasma, Nicaragua. The box is taken inside, where the contents are quickly checked.
    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    Still viable: A thermometer test confirms that the vaccine has stayed at a cool temperature and is safe to use.
    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    A Mother Learns About the Vaccine: Inside the examination room, a mother learns about the vaccination process. The vaccine comes in a two milliliter dose. It requires three doses to protect her two-month-old daughter.
    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    Mission Complete: The journey is complete. A healthcare worker administers drops of the vaccine, as the little girl takes her first step in fighting the disease. Since the vaccine's introduction in 2006, Nicaragua has seen a 77 percent decrease in very severe rotavirus cases.
    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
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