World Immunization Week
Friday, April 26, 2019
Amrita SeRVe health workers and village coordinators are keeping a close eye on vaccinations for children and pregnant women by cooperating with the teachers from the government’s local Anganwadi (pre-school) and ASHA workers. They are maintaining an immunization register to remind and encourage parents, especially mothers, to get their children vaccinated.
Over the last 2.5 years at Amrita SeRVe villages —
4300 child immunizations were monitored
750 pregnant women were vaccinated.
Health workers and village coordinators are supporting monthly immunization camps organized by the nearest Primary Health Centre (PHC) inviting nurses and doctors to visit the village. Preventable diseases can be avoided when the vaccines are reaching the village. This is ensured by health workers who are generating more awareness and follow-up regularly with all medical health staff.
Health workers are trustworthy companions to seek help at PHCs and hospitals when villagers are not familiar with the procedures. Also, health workers and village coordinators functions as spokeswomen and -men when the relationship needs to be build between the village and health care system.
Below is a list of description of diseases and vaccines against them, which are supported by Indian government’s Mission Indradanush Immunization Program in Amrita SeRVe villages. Vaccines: Polio, BCG for new borns, Penta vaccine (DPT + Hepatitis B + Hib + Polio), Measles, MMR, Varicella, Hepatitis A, and Vitamin A doses for 1 to 5 years old.
- Polio is a highly infectious viral disease that can cause irreversible paralysis.
- Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can cause mild to severe illness.
- Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver.
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) causes meningitis and pneumonia.
- Tetanus is caused by a bacterium which grows in the absence of oxygen, for example in dirty wounds or in the umbilical cord if it is not kept clean. The spores of C. tetani are present in the environment irrespective of geographical location. It produces a toxin which can cause serious complications or death.
BCG vaccine is primarily used against tuberculosis (TB).
- Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs. Common symptoms of active lung TB are cough with sputum and blood at times, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. Tuberculosis is curable and preventable.
MMR vaccine is against measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles).
- Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus, which usually results in a high fever and rash, and can lead to blindness, encephalitis or death.
- Mumps is a highly contagious virus that causes painful swelling at the side of the face under the ears (the parotid glands), fever, headache and muscle aches. It can lead to viral meningitis.
- Rubella is a viral disease which is usually mild in children, but infection during early pregnancy may cause fetal death or congenital rubella syndrome, which can lead to defects of the brain, heart, eyes, and ears.
- Varicella, also commonly referred to as “chickenpox”, is an acute and highly contagious disease. VZV is highly transmissible via respiratory droplets or direct contact with characteristic skin lesions of the infected person. The first symptoms of clinical varicella generally appear after a 10-21 day incubation period and include fever, malaise and the characteristic itchy rash. The disease is typically mild, but severe complications may arise, including bacterial infections (e.g. cellulitis, pneumonia) and neurological complications (e.g. encephalitis), and these can be fatal. Disease is associated with higher morbidity and mortality in infants and in individuals with an impaired immune system.
- Vitamin A doses prevents nutritional blindness reducing the severity and case-fatality rate of certain childhood infections, particularly measles and diarrhoea.
*Source of disease descriptions: WHO, World Health Organization