100,000, or one lakh of children in India dies each year from the gastrointestinal virus, rotavirus.
Today, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Shri J P Nadda announced the expansion of the Rotavirus vaccine under its Universal Immunization Programme in five additional states in function at Agartala.
The Health Minister further 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.
“Diarrhea is one of the biggest killers in children and Rotavirus is one of the most common causes of severe diarrhea in children less than 2 years of age. Rotavirus vaccine along with proper sanitation, hand washing practices, ORS and zinc supplementation will go a long way in reducing the mortality and morbidity due to diarrhea in children.”
Related: India: Top infectious disease concerns in world’s second most populous country
He further added that the “The government is also committed to increasing the full immunization coverage and ensuring that the benefit of the life-saving vaccines is provided to every child. The fourth phase of Mission Indradhanush has already begun in North-eastern states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura from 7th February 2017 and will be rolled out in rest of the country in April 2017” and urged the states to “successfully roll out of the mission which has already created a significant impact across the country.”
The vaccine will prevent Rotavirus diarrhea in children which accounts for approximately 40 per cent of hospitalizations from diarrhea in India.