LUCKNOW, : Low percentage of routine immunization in Uttar Pradesh is resulting in the resurgence of diseases like diphtheria and whooping cough in children. While in 36 districts the percentage of immunization is less then 20 percentages in 39 districts it is between 20-40 percentages in only five districts it is 40 percentages. He said in Tamil Naidu the immunization per centage is 92 per cent while in Karnataka it is 84 per cent
Dr Yogesh Govil, pediatrician, KGMC, Lucknow gave this information in his presentation titled ‘Routine immunization-bitter facts’. Dr Govil was interacting with the journalists at ‘Media for Children’ programme, a bi- monthly media- sensitization event held at the UP Press Club on Friday afternoon. The programme is organized by Media Nest, a forum working for the welfare of journalists and their families and is supported by UNICEF.
Six vaccinations for diphtheria, whooping cough, polio, tetanus and measeals are necessary and the right of every child. Dr Govil said that when we do not give these life-saving vaccinations to our children we subject them to life threatening diseases. The doctor bemoaned the fact that the lack of immunization is resulting in the resurgence of these diseases and the results are fatal in many cases.
“All these six vaccinations just cause less then Rs 5, but they provide the child with an armour of health,” said Dr Govil adding that only after a child gets all these vaccinations that we can say that he is 100 per cent immunized.
“We got 107 cases of diphtheria in our hospital but could only save 41. Sixty six children were lost because somebody somewhere did not think it important that the child was given the vital and necessary vaccination for diphtheria,” said Dr Govil.
Urging the media to come forward and help in focusing the attention of the masses on this issue Dr Govil said that it is important that those who draft and execute the state health policies are subjected to greater accountability.
On a suggestion by a scribe whether the government focus and priority being pulse polio has affected the routine immunization he answered in the affirm Nate. However he agreed to a suggestion coming from another journalist in the audience that routine immunization be linked the pulse polio programme.