Vietnam Country Program

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine Introduction and Sustainability Project

Children receive JE vaccinations after the opening ceremonies of the campaign in Xieng Khouang province, Laos.

Children receive JE vaccinations after the opening ceremonies of the campaign in Xieng Khouang province, Laos.

Transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, Japanese Encephalitis (JE) begins like the flu, progresses to a brain infection, and ends by killing up to 30 percent of its victims and leaving thousands more with permanent brain injuries. Up to half of survivors suffer permanent neurological damage, such as paralysis, recurrent seizures, or the inability to speak.

Because JE mainly strikes poor rural communities in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific, it historically received little attention. Yet approximately 3 billion people live in areas at risk for JE, and up to 70,000 cases are reported annually.

There is no treatment. The only viable solution is prevention through vaccination.

Over the past decade, PATH has played a critical role in identifying, scaling up, and gaining World Health Organization approval for an effective and affordable JE vaccine. We are leveraging this work in the Mekong region, helping governments in Cambodia and Laos access international support for vaccine financing and rollouts and laying the groundwork for introduction in Myanmar. In 2015, PATH and our partners helped Laos achieve countrywide JE coverage for the first time.

Available Materials

Factsheet: Japanese Encephalitis Introduction and Sustainability in the Mekong Region

PATH’s Previous Work on Japanese Encephalitis in the Mekong

For more information about the Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine Introduction and Sustainability Project, contact Dr. Vu Minh Huong, Mekong Program Technical Director, at hvu@path.org.