Terming immunisation as a very cost-effective child survival intervention, experts have sought concrete steps to ensure full immunisation in order to check infant mortality caused by vaccine-preventable diseases. Speaking at a discussion on “Immunisation for all: Improving the Health of Children” here, they noted that in India, a child dies every minute from vaccine preventable diseases. India also accounts for almost a fifth of all global under-five deaths, mostly caused by vaccine-preventable diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia and diarrhoea.
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To create awareness about child health and the importance of immunisation, Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation organised the meet yesterday as part of their annual event IDEATE 2016 in partnership with Global Health Strategies.
“When we know how to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases but we fail to act, and let a child develop disease or succumb to it, we are guilty of dereliction of duty,” said T Jacob John, Emeritus Professor at Christian Medical College, Vellore. “Full immunisation is the birth-right of every child, rural or urban, poor or rich,” said John.
Speaking at the event, Ms Shaifalika Panda, Trustee & CEO Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation said, “Immunisation is one of the most cost-effective child survival interventions. Ideate 2016, is our continued commitment to increase awareness level on child health services in Odisha with the aim to reduce the child mortality rate.”
The speakers also voiced concern over ths situation in Odisha as the state has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country, and full immunisation coverage is lower than the national average. This makes children in the state vulnerable to diseases, they pointed out.
Dr Rajiv Tandon, Technical Director, MNCHN+ A, PATH, New Delhi appreciated Odisha government’s pro-active stand in rolling out the new Rotavirus vaccine that reduces the incidents of diarrhoeal diseases in children, through routine immunization programmes.
Other eminent speakers who participated in the event include Hemanta Kumar Mishra, Additional Director Child Health, State Expanded Program of Immunisation, Joe Madiath, Founder, Gram Vikas, Mohuda, Odisha and Dr Amir Ullah Khan, Policy Advisor, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, New Delhi. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr Supriya Bezbaruah, Senior Director, Global Health Strategies, New Delhi, said a release from Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation.