BHUBANESWAR: Complete immunisation is the birth right of every child irrespective of their standard of living, said experts at a panel discussion on ‘Immunisation for All: Improving Health of Children’ organised by Bansidhar and Ila Panda Foundation (BIPF) in partnership with Global Health Strategies as part of their annual event Ideate-2016 here on Saturday.
Delivering keynote address, Emeritus professor of Christian Medical College, Vellore Dr T Jacob John said every child has a fundamental right to survive, thrive and to grow. Full vaccination should be done in an effective manner as routine immunisation is still not reaching the places where it can do good and save the children, he added.
With socio-economic improvement and change of living standard, Dr John said many diseases have come down in incidences. TB cases, mortality of measles and whooping coughs besides the mosquito-borne diseases are on the decline. In fact, Sri Lanka and European countries have been declared malaria-free due to proper vaccination, he said.
In India, a child dies every minute from vaccine-preventable diseases and the country accounts for almost a fifth of all global under-five deaths, a large number of which are caused by tuberculosis, pneumonia, diarrhoea and other preventable diseases. Odisha has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country and full immunisation coverage is less than the national average which makes children in the State vulnerable to diseases.
Technical director of Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) of New Delhi-based PATH organisation Dr Rajiv Tandon appreciated the State Government’s proactive stand in rolling out the new Rotavirus vaccine that reduces the incidents of diarrhoeal diseases in children through routine immunisation programme.
Trustee and CEO of the Foundation Shaifalika Panda said immunisation is one of the most cost effective child survival interventions. “It is our continued commitment to increase awareness level on child health services in the State with an aim to reduce child mortality rate,” she said.
Among others, Additional Director (Child Health), State expanded programme of immunisation, Hemanta Kumar Mishra, founder of Gram Vikas Joe Madiath and policy advisor of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also spoke.