Tuesday, 28 July 2015

A Social Task: Regularizing Routine Immunization in India

Despite numerous medical breakthroughs and developments, maternal and child mortality in India continues to be one of the major health concerns, primarily due to childbirth, inadequate neonatal care and childhood diseases. A staggering 1.3 million under-5 deaths are reported each year and a significant number are caused by vaccine preventable diseases like pneumonia, diarrhoea and measles.
India’s Universal Immunization Program (UIP) is the largest in the world, but only 65% of children receive all the essential vaccines in their first year of life. According to certain surveys it is unlikely to reach its Global Immunization Vision and Strategy goals, which set targets for children reached and new vaccines adopted.
To help meet these challenges a great degree of help from the society is required. Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and platforms such as Alliance for Immunization in India (Aii) can play a vital role in acting as an intermediary between grass root communities and the government. Thanks to their healthy and direct links to community, CSOs can contribute to a great extent in promoting equitable access to vaccines by informing families about outreach immunization facilities.
The role of CSOs in community mobilization and awareness is of critical importance in a country where myths and misconceptions often cloud the truth of the power of vaccines. It is important to raise awareness through activities such as effective information dissemination and making special efforts to reach out to those who live in hard-to-reach areas, are migrants or belong to a culturally diverse background.

Increasing community participation in immunization program is not only important to raise awareness but also leads to higher coverage and greatly reduces the incidents of vaccine preventable diseases. Immunization programs need continued support with proven strategies and fresh approaches to permit the ‘effective’ introduction of new vaccines. Here, the emphasis is on ‘effective’-meaning thereby introduction of a vaccine in to national immunization schedule that has a measurable impact on the epidemiology of the disease. Merely making the vaccine available in few pockets, for certain sections and for limited duration will not have any impact at national level. The ‘equity’ needs to be ensured so that the vaccine reaches to the section of the society who needs it the most.

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

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

Designed By D Yellow Elephant