JP Terms It A ‘Historic Moment’
Bhubaneswar, Odisha (PIB-GR-TYP-BIN): “We have achieved a new milestone towards expanding the coverage of full immunization in the country aimed at reducing child mortality”. Mr. J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare stated this at the national launch of the Rotavirus vaccine as part of the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) of the countryon March 26.
Terming this an historic moment and an exemplary step in India’s immunization programme, the Union Health Minister added that the Government is committed to reducing morbidity and mortality in children. Strengthening routine immunization is an essential investment in India’s children and will ensure a healthy future of the country, he noted.
Noting that Rotavirus is one of the leading causes of severe diarrhoea and death among children less than five years of age, and that every year nearly 80,000 to one lakh children die in the country due to Rotavirus diarrhoea, and about 9 lakh children are admitted to hospital due to episodes of severe diarrhoea with 32.7 lakh cases of OPD, Mr. Nadda stated that introduction of Rotavirus vaccine will enable us to directly address the problem of diarrheal deaths. The vaccine is being introduced initially in four states i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Odisha and will be expanded to the entire country in a phased manner, he informed.
Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of States (I/C), Petroleum and Natural Gas stated that this is a very important initiative of the Government of India. He noted that this will help to alleviate the health problems created by rotavirus in Odisha in the monsoon months, he stated. The Minister also appreciated the credible hard work put in by the health workers and urged for getting children vaccinated against rotavirus.
Mr. Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, MoS (I/C), Health & Family Welfare, Odisha, congratulated the Health Ministry for introducing Rotavirus vaccine in the UIP. He said that this will have tremendous impact in the health program of the country. He further emphasised the attention to quality by the Odisha Government in all its RCH initiatives.
Mr. B P Sharma, Secretary (HFW) said that introduction of Rotavirus Vaccine will be able to reduce out of pocket expenditure in addition to saving hundreds of lives. He stated that this is a very cost effective measure. Shri B P Sharma also informed that PCV is also on the anvil. “We also have to improve health facilities in the states to prevent neonatal deaths by 2030 to achieve SDGs,” he said.
Also present at the function were senior officers of the Union Health Ministry including Mr. C K Mishra, AS&MD (NHM) and Dr. Rakesh Kumar, JS (RCH); Mrs. Arti Ahuja and senior officers of Odisha Government and representatives of development partners such as WHO, UNICEF and PHFI.