World Immunisation Week 2018 is upon us. The global public health campaign is being organised to raise awareness and increase rates of immunisation against vaccine-preventable disease across the globe. This year it started on April 24 and will culminate on April 30, 2018.
While active immunisation can avert 2 to 3 million deaths due to infectious diseases every year around the world, the latest study led by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) has revealed something frightful regarding the same.
The study shows that around 47% urban children are still not completely vaccinated in Uttar Pradesh. Inadequate immunisation often results in different infectious diseases including diphtheria, measles, pertussis, polio, tetanus, tuberculosis, hepatitis B and others.
The new findings include:
1. India loses about 5 lakh children under the age of two due to diseases that could be prevented by vaccines, each year.
2. Only 60.7% of children aging 12 to 23 months in urban Ghaziabad are fully immunised, which means 39% of children are falling behind on their immunisation schedules.
3. There is a need to revisit immunization programs to identify where they are lacking and to make them more effective.
Most of the infants in urban Uttar Pradesh are still missing out on basic vaccines. Immunisation rate in and around Uttar Pradesh is much lower than other parts of India. Low socioeconomic status, female illiteracy, lack of health awareness and gender inequality are the possible reasons of low vaccination in the state.
"The timing of the vaccination plays a fundamental role in a child’s life. In order to ensure that the child develops immunity for a given disease at the correct age, it is essential to provide him vaccination during 12-23 months of age. Non-adherence to timely vaccination continues to be one of the leading reasons for high infant mortality rate in our state," a paediatrician was quoted at Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad.
Immunisation, also known as immunisation, is the process of fortifying a child’s immune system against a foreign agent or immunogen. Vaccines contain the same antigens that cause diseases but they are either killed or weakened to the point that they don’t actually cause the disease.
"Today, medical science has enabled us to protect our child against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once claimed thousands of lives have been successfully eradicated and others are close to extinction because of modern vaccines. Eradication of polio is one of the best examples of the contribution of vaccination in India. However, these dismal figures are indicative of our efforts not getting the desired results," the paediatrician added.