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India lost 2.6 lakh children under the age of five years to pneumonia and diarrhoea in 2016: Report

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

India's coverage to prevent infection, a leading cause of severe diarrhoea in young children, was the lowest among the 15 countries which introduced it last year, a new report said Friday. It also pointed that lost over 2.6 lakh children under five years from and diarrhoea in 2016.

The report found systems falling "woefully short" in ensuring that the most vulnerable children have access to prevention and in the 15 countries. including India, that account for 70 per cent of global and diarrhoea deaths in children under five.

Despite significant reductions in in recent years because of improvements in access and use of interventions, nearly half a million and diarrhoea deaths still occurred in two countries - and Nigeria, it said.

The number of deaths of children under five years due to pneumonia in 2016 was 1,58,176, while diarrhoea deaths was 1,02,813, the report said.

Released ahead of the 10th annual World Pneumonia Day on November 12, the 2018 Pneumonia and Progress Report by the International Access Center (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins School of Public describes progress in fighting these two in 15 countries.

According to the report, the 15 nations in order with the highest number of pneumonia and diarrhoea child deaths are India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Chad, Angola, Somalia, Indonesia, Tanzania, China, Niger, Bangladesh, Uganda, and Cte d'Ivoire.

Elaborating about RotaC coverage, it said as of 2017, had not been introduced in eight of the 15 focus countries Nigeria, DRC, Chad, Somalia, Indonesia, China, Bangladesh, and

Of the seven countries where has been introduced, the median coverage of complete rotavirus vaccine is 58 per cent.

"Among countries that had introduced the vaccine as of 2017, the lowest coverage levels were in (12 per cent) and (13 per cent), both of which had recently started phased national rollouts that had not yet reached all states or provinces," the report said.

Elaborating about the progress in India, home to more and diarrhoea deaths than any other country in 2016, has been "mixed", it said.

Increasing coverage of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccines as well as continued scale-up of rotavirus vaccines, first introduced in mid-2016, led to a bump in scoring for these interventions since last year's report.

"Introduced in 2017, the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) has been included in only six states to-date. Further scale-up of the vaccine to all states should be considered," the report, which analysed government data, said.

It said India's scores for exclusive breast feeding declined as did coverage of ORS. "The proportion of children receiving important treatments remains dismally low, with barely 20 per cent receiving ORS for diarrhoeal disease," it said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, November 09 2018. 21:05 IST