West Bengal Government Introduces Free Rotavirus Vaccine Under Its Immunisation Programme

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Neucrad Health India News Desk September 1, 2019

In a welcoming move, the West Bengal Health Department has pledged to introduce free rotavirus vaccine for children below five years at all their government-run hospitals. This facility will be available at all the medical colleges, district and sub-divisional medical facilities, and health centres in rural areas. The State Health Minister formally launched this new addition to the already prevalent immunisation programme during August 2019. The Director of Health Services, Dr Ajoy Kumar Chakraborty stated that children would receive this rota vaccine dose during the sixth, tenth, and fourteenth weeks. Medical officials across the state feel that this plan would help to prevent death in children due to diarrhoea in the initial years of their life.

How is The West Bengal Government going to bring ahead this vaccination programme?

West Bengal is one of the leading states in terms of immunisation coverage among children. According to the data released by the  Centre’s Health Management Information System, in 2018-19, the state has attained a 95 per cent success rate in carrying out vaccination among children. The officials of the state governments health department are hopeful that the common masses will accept and promote the rotavirus programme with equal acceptance. The rota vaccine is a very safe mode of preventing severe diarrhoea. It is effective in preventing the infection in 74 per cent cases and is widely used in 98 countries across the globe.  They are also planning to train around 80,298 health workers for this purpose. The Government has a target of vaccinating around 14.65 lakhs infants every year.

Why is the importance of rotavirus vaccination among children?

According to the latest official statistics, in India, 10 per cent of the death among infants results due to diarrhoea and dehydration. Rotavirus is the primary pathogen of this infection. It leads to 40 per cent of the total hospitalisation among children. Every year, around 78000 kids die due to diarrhoea in India; approximately 59000 of these death occurs among infants below two years.

Rotavirus infection is highly contagious and quickly transmits among other family members if they do not practise hygienic measures or have a weak immune system. Moreover, this infection cannot be treated by the administration of antibiotics or any other medication. In such a scenario, prevention of the symptom is the best measure to minimise death due to dehydration. The introduction of the rotavirus vaccine would help the economically challenged section of the society avail the doses from government-sponsored health institutes. It will significantly reduce the number of death due to diarrhoea among children.

What are the symptoms of rotavirus infection?

The signs of rotavirus usually manifest among children after two days of exposure to the pathogen. Detailed below are some of the symptoms due to rotavirus infection:

  •        vomiting
  •        watery stool, which may be black or tarry in colour
  •        discharge of blood or opus with stool
  •        severe fatigue
  •        abdominal pain
  •        irritation
  •        unwillingness to have food
  •        dehydration

Among all these symptoms, dehydration among kids is particularly hazardous for kids. Doctors recommend that parents to administer oral rehydration solution (ORS) after every few hours so that the situation does not turn fatal. Since the bodyweight of babies below two years is quite less, they lose a considerable amount of electrolytes during vomiting or diarrhoea. In this situation, timely rehydration of the system is essential to keep the organs working. If you notice dry mouth, insufficient urination, cool skin, absence of tears while crying, or sunken eyes in babies immediately contact the nearest medical facility for intravenous replacement of fluids.

This was all about the significance of the launch of the rotavirus vaccine in mass scale in West Bengal. If you have a kid below five years in your family, contact the health workers for a detailed report.

Write your comments

%d bloggers like this: