Balochistan on high level in Child mortality
By Ahmed Khan
A Seminar about Child Heath Care held in Quetta, which was arranged by United Nation official. Where it was informed that 60% death caused by curable diseases but children aren’t being vaccinated to immunize in province. These mortality causing diseases are also communicable; hence other children are at risk in existence of such diseases.
It was informed in every 1,000 live births 111 children die before their fifth birthday whilst 97 of these children die within one year of their birth. Merely 16% of the children in Balochistan are fully immunized and protected against 8 diseases. 52.2% children in Balochistan are chronically malnourished, the official data informs.
It is noteworthy that Balochistan is marginalized regarding Child Health including other sectors of life. The provided details by officials are as under:
Did you know that in Balochistan…?
- In every 1,000 live births 111 children die before their fifth birthday
- 97 of these children die within one year of their birth
- 60% of these deaths are due to communicable and vaccine preventable diseases
- Only 16% of the children in Balochistan are fully immunized and protected against 8 diseases.
- 52.2% children in Balochistan are chronically malnourished
Issues and Challenges
- Infrastructure and operational challenges :
- 39% of Union Councils are without a vaccination centre and LHWs cover only 38% of the population
- 600 additional vaccinators needed to functionalized EPI centres
- One EPI Centre an area of 735 km2 in Balochistan as compared to Punjab where one EPI Centre covers 62 km2
- Governance Challenges : Weak oversight and accountability ,Political Interference and Patronage limit any attempts at reform
- Financial Challenges : Inadequate funding from Federal Government following 7th NFC Awards, improved resources needed in 2015 as programs are to be fully funded by provinces
- Challenges from Community : Low awareness, cultural norms , inappropriate health seeking behaviours ,distances and resources to seek services
Do Vaccines Work?
- Each year, immunization averts an estimated 2-3 million deaths from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and measles globally
- Small pox has been eradicated from the world
- 99% of reduction in number of polio cases- 0 cases in Balochistan
Health Interventions Planned by Health Department of Balochistan
Our aim: A Healthy Balochistan “Sehatmand Balochistan”
- Emergency Plan for Routine Immunization
- Accelerated Action Plan for Polio Eradication
- Measles Campaigns
- Vitamin A Supplementation
- Mother and Child Weeks
- Awareness raising initiative focusing on first 1,000 days of a child’s life
- Every year, immunization prevents an estimated 2-3 million deaths from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and measles – diseases that disproportionately affect children.
- In 2012, more than 8 out of 10 infants were given three doses of the DTP vaccine, up from 2 out of 10 in 1980.
- Immunization against measles helped prevent nearly 14 million deaths between 2000 and 2012.
- Maternal and neonatal tetanus has been eliminated from 34 out of 59 high-risk countries since 1999 through vaccination.
But more needs to be done:
- Nearly one fifth of infants still do not receive their basic vaccination because of poverty and marginalization.
- Some 70 per cent of these infants live in just 10 countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Uganda and South Africa.
- About 30 per cent of deaths of children under five can be prevented by vaccines. In 2012 alone, 1.5 million children died from diseases preventable by currently recommended vaccines.
· Measles continues to kill about 330 children a day mainly in Africa and Asia.