‘In­dia lost 2.6 L chil­dren un­der the age of 5 years to pneu­mo­nia in 2016’

Millennium Post - - Nation -

NEW DELHI: In­dia's vac­ci­na­tion cov­er­age to pre­vent ro­tavirus in­fec­tion, a lead­ing cause of se­vere di­ar­rhoea in young chil­dren, was the low­est among the 15 coun­tries which in­tro­duced it last year, a new re­port said Fri­day. It also pointed that In­dia lost over 2.6 lakh chil­dren un­der five years from pneu­mo­nia and di­ar­rhoea in 2016.

The re­port found health sys­tems fall­ing “woe­fully short” in en­sur­ing that the most vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren have ac­cess to pre­ven­tion and treat­ment ser­vices in the 15 coun­tries. in­clud­ing In­dia, that ac­count for 70 per cent of global pneu­mo­nia and di­ar­rhoea deaths in chil­dren un­der five.

De­spite sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tions in dis­ease in re­cent years be­cause of im­prove­ments in ac­cess and use of health in­ter­ven­tions, nearly half a mil­lion pneu­mo­nia and di­ar­rhoea deaths still oc­curred in two coun­tries - In­dia and Nige­ria, it said.

The num­ber of deaths of chil­dren un­der five years due to pneu­mo­nia in 2016 was 1,58,176, while di­ar­rhoea deaths was 1,02,813, the re­port said.

Re­leased ahead of the 10th an­nual World Pneu­mo­nia Day on No­vem­ber 12, the 2018 Pneu­mo­nia and Di­ar­rhea Progress Re­port by the In­ter­na­tional Vac­cine Ac­cess Cen­ter (IVAC) at the Johns Hop­kins Bloomberg School of Pub­lic Health de­scribes progress in fight­ing th­ese two dis­eases in 15 coun­tries.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the 15 na­tions in or­der with the high­est num­ber of pneu­mo­nia and di­ar­rhoea child deaths are In­dia, Nige­ria, Pak­istan, the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo, Ethiopia, Chad, An­gola, So­ma­lia, In­done­sia, Tan­za­nia, China, Niger, Bangladesh, Uganda, and C te d'ivoire.

Elab­o­rat­ing about Ro­tac cov­er­age, it said as of 2017, ro­tavirus vac­cine had not been in­tro­duced in eight of the 15 fo­cus coun­tries Nige­ria, DRC, Chad, So­ma­lia, In­done­sia, China, Bangladesh, and Uganda.

Of the seven coun­tries where ro­tavirus vac­cine has been in­tro­duced, the me­dian cov­er­age of com­plete ro­tavirus vac­cine is 58 per cent.

“Among coun­tries that had in­tro­duced the vac­cine as of 2017, the low­est cov­er­age lev­els were in Pak­istan (12 per cent) and In­dia (13 per cent), both of which had re­cently started phased na­tional roll­outs that had not yet reached all states or provinces,” the re­port said.

Elab­o­rat­ing about the progress in In­dia, home to more un­der-five pneu­mo­nia and di­ar­rhoea deaths than any other coun­try in 2016, has been “mixed”, it said.

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