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20 Mar 2019, Edition - 1345, Wednesday

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Coimbatore

Pneumonia: New vaccine to bring down under-5 death rate significantly

Covai Post Network

Although India’s under-5 mortality rate due to pneumonia has reduced significantly since 2011, the country still has the unfortunate tag of having the largest number of under-5 deaths in 2016 as compared to any other country in the world, Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IPA) said on Thursday.

According to a 2015 study there were an estimated 5,64,200 cases of pneumococcal pneumonia episodes in children under five in India, with Tamil Nadu accounting for 11,500, IAP Coimbatore chapter President Dr. M. Ismail told reporters here.

However, the death rate was hovering around 35 to 45 per 1,000 in India, while it was 30 to 40 in Tamil Nadu, he said.

“Now with inclusion of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in India’s Universal Immunisation Programme, this alarming death rate could be reduced drastically. IPA wants to bring down the rate to at least 20 in Tail Nadu by another 10 years,” he said.

More than 140 countries have introduced the such type of vaccine and India’s decision will definitely help achieve the goal of 90 per cent immunisation coverage by 2018, IPA Secretary Karthik Annamalai said.

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