Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Immunisation: The Way Ahead

Global evidence on health spending shows that unless a country spends 5-6 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on health, of which 4 per cent comes from the government, health care remains on sideline and a distant reality for majority of the population. Indians spend around 4 per cent of their GDP on health, which is less than the threshold spending on the health. The sad part is that the government spends only 1 per cent of its GDP on health and the rest is borne by the private sector. This casts repercussions on access to healthcare for millions of Indians.

Immunisation is a cost-effective method to prevent diseases and reduce childhood and maternal mortality. With the objective to enhance access to preventive health to children, since 1985, government of India has initiated the Universal Immunization Programme. The program consists of vaccination for seven diseases- tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertusis (whooping cough) tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles and Hepatitis B. In 2014, four more vaccines were added to the programme, namely rotavirus, rubella and Japanese encephalitis, as well as the injectable polio vaccine.

Draft Health Policy 2015 recognizes that the immediate challenge to Universal Immunization Program is to increase immunization coverage with quality and safety. These concerns resonate with Hilleman Laboratories, a global vaccine research and development organisation. The organisation is meticulously working towards utilizing innovation for developing affordable vaccines to mitigate gaps that exist in the low resource setting.

The draft policy envisages the need for assessment and building up the national epidemiological information base. The document addresses the need for introduction of new cost effective vaccines to mitigate the need gap working in this direction, the expertise of Hilleman is targeted towards creating new vaccines in areas of unmet needs as well as adapting existing vaccines for more effective delivery in low income countries.

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Hilleman Laboratories is a global vaccine research & development organization focused on making affordable vaccines using innovation to address gaps that exist in low resource settings. Hilleman Labs acts as a catalyst in bridging the gap between academic research and product development by targeting novel vaccines and increasing the efficiency of existing vaccines. Know More

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