Delhi, 11 Nov: A report released ahead of World Pneumonia Day on November 12 revealed alarming fact saying that India has the highest number of pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths among children in the world with nearly three lakh children dying in 2016.
The Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report for 2016, released by International Vaccine Access Centre(IVAC), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health stated that the top five countries having highest number of child deaths globally due to pneumonia and diarrhoea are India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.
However, The top 15 countries contributing to the global burden of child pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths were remained same between 2015 and 2016. These 15 highest burden countries includes India, Nigeria, Pakistan, DRC, Angola, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Chad, Afghanistan, Niger, China, Sudan, Bangladesh, Somalia, and United Republic of Tanzania, it said.
According to the report, surprisingly only six of the highest-burden countries (Angola, Ethiopia, India, Niger, Sudan and Tanzania) have started rotavirus vaccines in their routine immunisation program to help prevent a substantial portion of diarrhoea deaths and hospitalisation.
India introduced rotavirus vaccines in four states in 2015, report informed.
It is worth shocking that Fifteen years after pneumococcal conjugate vaccines’ (PCV) first introduction globally in 2000 (the United States was first to implement the vaccine, five of the highest pneumonia burden countries (India, Indonesia, Chad, China and Somalia) are still not using the vaccine in their routine immunisation programs.
The health ministry recently declared that the PCV that fights pneumonia, will be introduced as part of the Universal Immunisation Programme in a phased manner in Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Some progress has been made in battling pneumonia and diarrhoea among young children in the nations most severely impacted by the two diseases, the report found, but they remain responsible for hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths around the world.
In 2015, one out of every four children under five years old died due to pneumonia and diarrhoea together globally.