CHENNAI: Pneumonia is the leading cause of death of children in the world, next to diarrhoea and measles and 1.25 million children are dying of various diseases in the world because of a lack of access to healthcare, according to Dr Nitin Shah, past president Indian Academy of Paediatrics, and eminent vaccinologist from Mumbai.
“About 18,000 children die because of the disease that is preventable, vaccines are not reaching the people who are in need and there are plenty in the countries where they are not needed. This is why children in most of the rural parts of the world are still dying with diseases that are preventable by vaccines,” added Dr Shah.
Dr Shah further said that the report of Lancet 2013 showed that the deaths in the age group of five years were caused due to pneumonia, diarrhoea and measles. The reach of therapeutic intervention to the rural population in India was always a problem and 15 per cent of children died due to this.
“Though India is doing well and has introduced most of the vaccines, the message should reach the rural parts of the country and it should be made accessible to them through healthcare staff to make a difference. There is no proper data on pneumonia deaths in India,” Dr Shah noted.
He was delivering the 24th Dr M S Ramakrishnan Memorial Endowment Oration on the ‘Role of Immunisation in Child Survival’ organised by the Childs Trust Medical Research Foundation, Kanchi Kamakoti Childs Trust Hospital, on Sunday.
There was also a two-day postgraduate clinical training programme in paediatrics on May 1 and 2, in memory of Professor M S Ramakrishnan, founder of Kanchi Kamakoti Childs Trust Hospital.
Dr M Balsubramanian, past president IMA, Tamil Nadu and Convenor, released a CME souvenir on the occasion. Dr K Mathangi Ramakrishnan, chairperson, The Childs Trust Medical Research Foundation, also participated in the event.