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Rotavirus Vaccine To Combat Diarrhoeal Deaths Launched For Five More States

Of the overall child mortality in India, diarrhoea is responsible for almost 10% burden. Rotavirus is the leading cause of moderate to severe diarrhoea in India, accounting for approximately 40% of all diarrhoea cases requiring treatment.

News18.com

Updated:February 20, 2017, 7:55 AM IST
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Rotavirus Vaccine To Combat Diarrhoeal Deaths Launched For Five More States
Of the overall child mortality in India, diarrhoea is responsible for almost 10% burden. Rotavirus is the leading cause of moderate to severe diarrhoea in India, accounting for approximately 40% of all diarrhoea cases requiring treatment.

Of the overall child mortality in India, diarrhoea is responsible for almost 10% burden. Rotavirus is the leading cause of moderate to severe diarrhoea in India, accounting for approximately 40% of all diarrhoea cases requiring treatment.

It has been estimated that Rotavirus vaccination in India can prevent 41,000 to 48,000 deaths of children under 5 years of age.

Based on the recommendation by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization and approval of Mission Steering Group (MSG), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare decided to introduce Rotavirus vaccine in the Universal Immunization Program (UIP) in a phased manner.

In the Phase I, Rotavirus Vaccine has been successfully introduced in 4 states - Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha- of the country and was introduced in Agartala on Saturday.

In order to reach the masses and eradicate the disease, Rotavirus vaccine will be provided free of cost by the government.

Diarrhoea kills more children across the world than AIDS, malaria and measles combined and India alone contributes to 22% of all global diarrhoeal deaths in children below the age of 5 years.

India bears one of the highest burden of Rotavirus Diarrhoeal deaths in the world.

Malnourished children and those with poor access to medical care are more vulnerable to diarrhoea.

What is Rotavirus?

● Rotavirus is highly contagious and is spread when the child comes in contact with infected water, food or hands,

known as faecal-oral route.

● Rotavirus can survive on hands and surfaces for long periods of time.

● All children are at risk of Rotavirus infection, irrespective of their socio-economic status.

● Infections mostly occur in very young children, who are also at an increased risk of dehydration.

● There is no drug currently available to treat rotavirus infection. It is generally

treated with ORS and Zinc for 14 days

● Besides improvements in hygiene, sanitation and drinking water, Rotavirus diarrhoea can be most effectively prevented through Rotavirus vaccine drops.

"As far as efficacy of RV vaccine is concerned it will be in the range of 50 to 60 percent.It will effectively prevent the severe variety of diarrhoea which leads to hospitalization and causes impact on the nutritional status of the child. Sanitatioon and better mutrition are important issues also but sanitation alone does not prevent infection. So one has to take all approaches." says Dr. Anupam Sachdev, President of Indian Academy of Pediatrics.

In India, Rotavirus diarrhoea causes:

● About 78 thousand deaths each year

● About 8.72 lakh hospitalizations each year

● About 32.7 lakh outpatient visits in children under 5 years of age

Economic burden of Rotavirus Diarrhoea in India

* Every episode of Rotavirus diarrhoea costs over 7% of average annual income of Indian families, enough to push low income families below poverty line.

* It is estimated that India spends over a staggering INR 1000 crores every year on management of Rotavirus diarrhoea.

There are currently three licensed orally administered Rotavirus vaccines available in markets and used in India. These vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective in large scale clinical trials.

| Edited by: Gurleen Nagpal
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