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Governments to Launch Rotavirus Vaccine to Prevent Diarrhoea

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Kathmandu: According to Ministry of Health and Population, Diarrhoea is one of the most common illnesses among children and continues to be major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality in Nepal. Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhoea in young children across the world, according to World Health Organization.

The government is launching rotavirus vaccination for children below five years of age from June. The vaccine will be included in the National Immunization Programme run by the government. The government has aims to vaccinate 620,000 children against rotavirus. The vaccine will be given to the children in two doses. The first dose of the vaccine will be given to a child when s/he is six months old and the next dose will be given when the child reaches ten months. The vaccines will be available at 16,000 health centers across the country.

The Chief of Child Health and Immunization Section at Family Welfare Division, Dr. Jhalak Gautam said that the vaccination prevents diarrhoea caused by rotavirus in children under five years of age and also help reduce death of children from complications of diarrhoea.

Nepal Demographic Health Survey-2016, findings showed that prevalence of diarrhoea among children below five was eight percent. The data also revealed that six percent of children below six months suffered from diarrhoea. The data also revealed that 15.2 per cent of children below 12 months had diarrhoea. Nepal Health Sector Strategy 2016- 2021 targets are to reduce neonatal and under five mortality to 17.5 and 28 deaths per 1,000 live births, respectively by the year 2021.

Sustainable Development Goal targets related to neonatal and under five mortality in Nepal are 12 and 20 deaths per 1,000 live births, respectively by 2030.The division has already appropriated budget of five crore for the programme. The order for the vaccine have already been made and it is likely to arrive in April.

Source: THT