In an attempt to highlight the need and the value of vaccines, GlaxoSmithKline organised an awareness workshop in the city on Wednesday.
Comprising three presentations by doctors, the workshop titled ‘Value of Vaccines’ was attended by doctors across the city.
Dr Shailesh Mehta, vice-president, Clinical R&D and Medical Affairs, South Asia, GSK Vaccines, in his presentation, stressed the purpose of the workshop by citing a study by UNICEF and the Ministry of Health in 2009. “In that study, 28 per cent of them did not feel the need to get vaccinated, 26 per cent weren’t aware of vaccination and 10 per cent did not know where to go for immunisation. We wanted to reach the masses through this awareness,” he said.
Listing out the diseases for which vaccines were currently available, Mehta said that GSK was conducting research to develop vaccines for tuberculosis, dengue and malaria that will be developed in five to seven years. “TB is in phase two of research and malaria is in phase three in Africa. Dengue is somewhere in phase one and two. Vaccines not only saves lives but also reduce hospitability and disability,” he informed.
Dr Bhaskar Raju, pediatric gastroenterologist, while speaking on the vaccine preventable diseases in children said though there were vaccines available for illness like pneumonia and diahorrea, babies continue to suffer. “Indian babies, if they survive the neo natal period, still die of pneumonia and diahorrea though they are preventable,” he said.
He went on explain the bacteria that spread the diseases like pneumonia, diahorrea, polio and influenza, their management and the vaccines available. “22 percent of world rotaviral mortality is in India,” he explained.
Dr Mala Raj, Managing Director, Firm Hospitals, in her presentation on cervical cancer said 27 percent of cervical cases in the world were in India and that it was mainly of ignorance among women. “Breast cancer is only next to cervical cancer affecting women in India,” said the doctor, who went on to explain the importance of taking tests at least once in three years and the need for vaccine for prevention of the deadly disease.