Taking aim against child mortality, India to offer four free vaccines
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/7/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Taking aim the high mortality rate of children in many of its poor, rural areas, the nation of India will be offering four free vaccines. The no-cost vaccines are part of a program to reduce child mortality and preserve coming generations, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Diarrhea caused by rotavirus kills nearly 80,000 children annually.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - One of the four vaccines will be one for rotavirus, which kills thousands of Indian children annually. Rotavirus causes dehydration and severe diarrhea and spreads via contaminated hands and surfaces. The disease is commonly found in Asia and Africa.
The move brings to 13 the number of free vaccines provided against life threatening diseases.
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"The introduction of four new life-saving vaccines will play a key role in reducing childhood and infant mortality and morbidity in the country, "Modi said in a statement.
"Many of these vaccines are already available through private practitioners to those who can afford them. The government will now ensure that the benefits of vaccination reach all sections of society, regardless of social and economic status."
The four new vaccines will combat rotavirus, rubella, polio and Japanese encephalitis.
Diarrhea caused by rotavirus kills nearly 80,000 children annually. The condition results in up to a million hospital admissions in India. Regular outbreaks of encephalitis also kill hundreds of children every year.
A new adult vaccine against Japanese encephalitis will now be introduced in the 179 worst-affected districts in nine states.
While declared polio free in March, the nation of India will introduce an injectable polio vaccine to "provide long lasting protection to the population against the virus," the statement said.
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