New Delhi: the lives of more than 90,000 children under the age of five can be saved annually, if India expands its vaccination program against pneumonia and diarrhea, according to a report from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The report noted that while India has improved considerably since last year, a major intervention through an intensive vaccination program can save as many lives and more than one billion dollars each year.
The report also states that, since last year, India has increased its performance by seven points, mainly due to its vaccination coverage against the measles vaccine, Haemophilus influenzae type B, three doses of diphtheria and tetanus vaccine and the anti-rotavirus vaccine during the period.
“India could save more than one billion dollars each year in economic benefits and avoid more than 90,000 unnecessary child deaths each year by introducing and expanding coverage of pneumonia and diarrhea vaccination programs,” the report said.
The study, conducted by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) of the Hopkins Bloomberg School, was launched today before World Pneumonia Day on November 12.
The study was conducted for 15 countries that are “disproportionately responsible” for worldwide infant deaths under five years of age due to pneumonia and diarrhea.
Although these countries make up 55% of the world’s population as a whole, they contribute 77% to the total worldwide deaths of young children due to the two diseases.
The countries that were part of the study are Tanzania, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger, Ethiopia, Somalia, Angola, Chad and Sudan of Africa and India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and China of Asia.