Over 2 Lakh Indian Children Killed Due to Pneumonia, Diarrhoea in 2016November 10, 2018 13:15
(Image source from: DNA India)
A new report released Friday said India's vaccination coverage to prevent rotavirus infection, a chief origin of serious diarrhoea in young children, was the lowest among the 15 countries which introduced earlier this year.
It also pointed out that India lost more than 2.6 lakh children under five years from pneumonia and diarrhea in 2016.
The report found health systems falling "woefully short" in guaranteeing that the most endangered children have access to prevention and treatment services in the 15 countries, including India, that account for 70 percent of worldwide pneumonia and diarrhea deaths in children under five.
Despite significant cut downs in disease in recent years because of improvements in access and use of health interventions, about half a million diarrhea and pneumonia deaths still occurred in two countries - India and Nigeria, it said.
The report said: The number of deaths of children under five years due to pneumonia in 2016 was 1,58,176, while diarrhea deaths were 1,02,813.
Unveiled ahead of the 10th annual World Pneumonia Day on November 12, the 2018 Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health describes development in fighting these two diseases in 15 countries.
According to the report, the 15 nations in order with the highest number of pneumonia and diarrhea child deaths are India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Chad, Angola, Somalia, Indonesia, Tanzania, China, Niger, Bangladesh, Uganda, and Cote d'Ivoire.
Elaborating about RotaC coverage, it said as of 2017, rotavirus vaccine had not been introduced in eight of the 15 focus countries Nigeria, DRC, Chad, Somalia, Indonesia, China, Bangladesh, and Uganda.
Of the seven countries where rotavirus vaccine has been presented, the average coverage of absolute rotavirus vaccine is 58 percent.
"Among countries that had introduced the vaccine as of 2017, the lowest coverage levels were in Pakistan (12 percent) and India (13 percent), both of which had recently started phased national rollouts that had not yet reached all states or provinces," the report said.
Elaborating about the progress in India, home to more under-five pneumonia and diarrhea deaths than any other country in 2016, has been "mixed", it said.
Rising coverage of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccines also continued scale-up of rotavirus vaccines, initially introduced in mid-2016, led to a bump in scoring for these interventions since earlier this year's report.
"Introduced in 2017, the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) has been included in only six states to-date. Further scale-up of the vaccine to all states should be considered," the report, which analyzed government data, said.
It said India's scores for exclusive breastfeeding declined as did coverage of ORS. "The proportion of children receiving important treatments remains dismally low, with barely 20 percent receiving ORS for diarrhoeal disease," it said.