KARACHI- The Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), Sindh has decided to introduce rotavirus vaccine in the routine immunisation schedule of the EPI to reduce diarrhea-related mortality in children below five in Sindh province.
Eminent Pediatrician, Prof Dr Jamal Raza, said rotavirus vaccine would be included in routine vaccination immunization in the end of 2017 and this will boost immunity of children against diarrhea. He said inclusion of rotavirus vaccine will significantly reduce the burden of disease amongst children under five.
He explained that rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrhoeal disease among infants and young children. He said rotavirus causes the death of about 200,000 children worldwide annually out of which 50 per cent such deaths were reported from India, Pakistan, Congo and Nigeria.
He said diarrhea and pneumonia are leading infant killers in allover world including Pakistan. He informed that vaccination converge in rural areas of the province is very low and there was strong need to strengthen the EPI coverage area throughout province.
He explained that contaminated water, poor sanitation, unhygienic foods and decayed fruits are major causes of waterborne diseases, especially diarrhea. He informed children between six months to two year age are most vulnerable of diarrhea and other diseases.
Prof Jamal Raza said vaccines play a major role in eliminating and preventing diseases. He said vaccines are available free of cost at all EPI centers across the province so parents can get their children vaccinated from there to take protection from unnecessary suffering. He said people need to be educated about the importance and availability of vaccines at EPI centers.