Written by Aftab Sohail Rana
KARACHI: Pakistan has one of the highest numbers of under-immunised children globally, with only 54 per cent of children fully immunised. In Sindh province, overall immunisation coverage is 29 per cent, while coverage in districts varies from 10 per cent to 68.5 per cent respectively.
Vaccines prevent approximately 30 million deaths annually worldwide besides, 17 per cent of children under 5 years of age are infected with diseases that can be prevented by vaccinations. About 20 million children worldwide are missing basic vaccines to protect against ten deadly diseases. Routine Immunisation plays an important role in eliminating the disease and preventing their spread. If vaccinations are not taken, many preventable diseases can take place which may lead to morbidity to mortality.
According to the Survey report, Pakistan’s 5 million populations comprise on 5 years of age. Each year, around 47 thousand children lose their lives due to various preventable diseases. Children can be able to reduce their risk of vaccine protection, including Pakistan every year 1.3 million children lose weight of various diseases that is why the significance of safety vaccine has been catalysed for children around the world.
Pakistan’s Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) Established in 1978 currently aims to vaccinate approximately Seven million children aged 0-23 months against ten target diseases (Childhood Tuberculosis, Poliomyelitis, Diarrhea, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hepatitis B, H-Influenza Type b, Pneumonia, Measles) and the pregnant ladies against Tetanus. The government’s free-of-cost vaccination schedule (which would otherwise be Rs 36,400 per child) is completed in six visits to an EPI centre for all infants less than 23 months of age.
Immunization is one of the most cost-effective ways to prevent child morbidity and mortality. When your child gets vaccinated, you help protect others as well.
Vaccines are very safe. There have been some confusions and misunderstandings about vaccines. But getting immunized is a very important part of a family and public health. Vaccines prevent the spread of communicable, dodgy, and even deadly diseases.
Vaccination is important for at least two reasons: to protect yourself and to protect those around you. Vaccines are the best way we have to prevent disease. A successful immunisation programme depends on the collaboration of every person.
Vaccinations prevent your child from getting illness for which there are often no medical treatments. These complaints can result in serious complications and even death.
A small number of people may be at risk to diseases, such as those with blight immune systems. These people may not be able to get immunized or may not develop immunity even after having vaccinated. There only protection against certain diseases is for others to get vaccinated so the illnesses are less common.
If revelation to a disease occurs in a community, there is little to no risk of an epidemic if people have been immunised.
Improved sanitation, hygiene, and other living conditions have created a generally healthier environment and reduced the risks for disease exposure and infection in our society. But the dramatic and long-term decrease of diseases is primarily a result of widespread immunizations throughout the Pakistani population.
Parents want to do everything possible to make sure their children remain healthy and protected from preventable diseases. Vaccination is the best way to do that.
Vaccination protects children from serious problems and complications of vaccine-preventable diseases which can include amputation of an arm or leg, paralysis of limbs, hearing loss, convulsions, brain damage, and death.
Vaccine-preventable diseases, such as Polio, Measles, Mumps and Whooping Cough are still a threat. They persist to infect our children, resulting in hospitalizations and deaths every year.
Though vaccination has led to a vivid decline in the number of cases of several infectious diseases, some of these diseases are quite common in other countries and are brought to the country by international travelers. If children are not getting vaccinated, they could easily get one of these diseases from a traveler or while traveling themselves.
Outbreaks of preventable diseases transpire when many parents decide not to vaccinate their children.
Vaccination is safe and effective. All vaccines undergo long and careful examination by scientists, doctors and the government to make sure they are safe.
Organizations such as Expanded Program on Immunisations, UNICEF, GAVI and WHO all strongly support protecting children with recommended vaccinations.
Vaccine protects others you care about, including family members, friends, and grandparents.
If children aren’t vaccinated, they can multiply disease to other children who are too young to be vaccinated or to people with weakened immune systems, such as transplant recipients and people with cancer. This could result in long-term impediment and even death for these vulnerable people. We all have a public health pledge to our communities to protect each other and each other’s children by vaccinating our own family members.
Ensuring sustainable demand for immunization is only possible when caregivers and communities trust the safety and efficacy of vaccines as well as the quality and reliability of immunisation services. They also need to have the necessary information, access and motivation to complete the recommended immunisation schedule on time.