Injectable inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) will soon become part of immunisation programme in India, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Monday. Also the introduction of pentavalent vaccine, which offers protection against five disease, under the immunisation programme will be completed across the country by April next year.
India has relied on oral polio vaccine (OPV) to successfully eradicate the crippling disease but OPV has very remote but real possibility of its virus turning virulent and IPV will also keep community's immunity level high, Vardhan said.
Out of all the states and Union Territories, eight have already introduced pentavalent vaccines, 11 more will do by October this year and the remainder 17 will do so by April next year, he said. Launching the Intensified Diarrhoea Control fortnight, he said it is a matter of "deep sorrow" for the country that it is still losing anywhere between 13-14 lakh children aged under 5 to various preventable diseases and over 2 lakh of them are to diarrhoea alone.
"Every year we do routine programmes and out concerns have also become routine. We lack the intensity and energy required to deal with these challenges. We must join all our forces together to make our fight against infant mortality a social movement," he said. WHO, India, head Nata Menabde underlined India's "disproportionate" share in global burden of various diseases.
As against 17.8% of global population and 20% of child birth, its share of newborn deaths was 28% and TB cases 25% She said it was not a medical problem alone and multi-sectoral approach was needed to improve the conditions.
Health ministry officials, however, pointed out that things have improved a lot and under-five deaths had come down to 52 from 126 in 1990 and the fall has accelerated after National Rural Health Mission was launched.
UP, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan account for most of these deaths and Vardhan said they have identified 184 high-priority districts in 29 states for more intensive campaign. UNICEF India representative Louis-Georges Arsenault and Health Secretary Lov Verma also spoke on the occasion.