Combatting pneumonia and brain fever
Raju Kumar elaborates how entire Madhya Pradesh will be covered for PCV.
Madhya Pradesh is among the states where infant mortality, child mortality, and malnutrition are very high. Reducing infant mortality and child mortality has been a challenge for the government. The expected success has not been achieved, although IMR (Infant Mortality Rate) and CMR (Child Mortality Rate) have come down in the last few years. For this, the role of immunisation is important in preventing disease-related illnesses. Regular vaccination program at the government level is constantly adding new vaccines, so that children can be saved from various diseases. In the last few years, pentavalent, IPV, and rota virus were added to the public immunisation program. Now in this series PCV vaccine at national level is being added to the regular vaccination program. PCV (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) can prevent pneumonia and brain fever.
PCV vaccination is being launched simultaneously in the entire state of Madhya Pradesh. Nationally, some districts in different states of the country and all districts of Bihar and Himachal Pradesh have been selected for this. In view of the history of successful vaccination campaign earlier, all the 51 districts of Madhya Pradesh have been selected for this. PCV was available in the private sector for the past 10 years, due to the cost, poor people could not afford it. Now it will be available free of cost to all children in the government's regular vaccination program.
In Madhya Pradesh, training and workshops have been organised at different levels for its preparation. The UNICEF, UNDP, WHO, and the Health Department of Madhya Pradesh have made many preparations in this regard. Through their expertise, these agencies are collaborating in regular vaccination programs. Awareness initiative is being undertaken by UNICEF through communication workshops. According to UNICEF's communications expert Anil Gulati, various methods of communication are being adopted to increase the coverage of the vaccination in the entire state, including social media. Monitoring immunisation process is being done in collaboration with UNDP.
National Health Mission's Madhya Pradesh Director S. Viswanathan says that in the state, child mortality rate and infant mortality rates came down 5 points and 3 points respectively last year. Better implementation of vaccination program is also an important factor. State Vaccination Officer Dr. Santosh Shukla says that now a vaccination calendar is being given to beneficiaries for free, which gives them information about immunisation. There is also work on a reminder app in the state, which will work to make a reminder to the beneficiary for immunisation. UNICEF, Madhya Pradesh Health Specialist Dr. Vandana Bhatia says that now 10 vaccines have joined the regular vaccination program. New PCV vaccine will be for infants of one-and-a-half months, three-and-a-half months, and nine months. This will save the infants from pneumonia and brain fever, which will reduce their mortality rate.
It is notable that according to the SRS report in the state, the infant mortality rate in the state in the year 2016 is 47 per thousand children and the child mortality rate is 55 per thousand children. According to a report, 13400 children below 5 years of age die due to pneumonia every year in the state. Pneumonia is an infectious disease, which is the biggest cause of death from infectious diseases in children under the age of 5 years of the world. The risk of pneumonia in children increases due to several reasons, such as decreased immunity due to malnutrition or any other disease. Due to non-availability of poverty and treatment, the risk of death of children increases. It is expected that after joining the PCV in the regular vaccination program, children will not die of pneumonia.
(The views expressed are strictly personal)