‘Health in India’ Report: Explained

National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has conducted the survey on Household Social Consumption associated with Health from July 2017 to June 2018.  It is a part of the 75th round of National Sample Survey (NSS). Before this, there have been three such surveys that are carried out, in 1995-96 (52nd round of NSS), 2004 (60th round of NSS) and 2014 (71st round of NSS).

What is the aim of the survey?

The main aim of the survey was to gather basic quantitative information on the health sector including morbidity, profile of ailments including their treatment, role of government and private facilities in providing healthcare, expenditure on medicines, expenditure on medical consultation and investigation, hospitalisation and expenditure thereon, maternity and childbirth, the condition of the aged, etc.

What is ‘Vaccine Nationalism’?

Before discussing the key points of the report, first, let us understand about Immunisation and Full Immunisation.

Immunisation: It is a process due to which a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease mainly by the administration of a vaccine. The work of the vaccine is to stimulate the immune system of its own body to protect the person against subsequent infection or disease.

It is a simple and effective way of protecting children from serious diseases. It helps in minimising the disease and also protect the individuals and the broader community.

Full immunisation is when a child receives a cocktail of eight vaccine doses in the first year of life. These vaccine doses are:

BCG Vaccine: Shortly after birth, it is injected in a single dose. It protects against a childhood attack of tuberculosis.

Measles Vaccine: Measles is a viral disease and for this, it is given.

Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV): It is given to protect against the poliovirus. At birth, the first dose of poliovirus is given which is followed by two more doses at intervals of four weeks.

DPT/ Pentavalent Vaccine: In three doses, it is injected. It protects the child from diphtheria, pertussis or whooping cough, tetanus, Hepatitis B, and meningitis and pneumonia caused by Haemophilus influenzae type B.

– Between 16 and 24 months, booster doses for OPV and DPT are also given.

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Key points of the report are as follows:

– Only 59.2% of children under five years across the country are fully immunised.

– We can say that roughly, two out of five children do not complete their immunisation programme.

– Across the country, about 97% of children received at least one vaccination that is mostly BCG or the first dose of OPV at birth.

– Across the country, only 67% of children are protected against measles.

– Only 58% got their polio booster dose, while 54% got their DPT booster dose.

– The highest rates of full immunisation among states are recorded by Manipur (75%), Andhra Pradesh (73.6%) and Mizoram (73.4%).

– Poor performance by Nagaland (12%), followed by Puducherry (34%) and Tripura (39.6%).

– Less than half of all children are fully immunised in Delhi.

Problems or issues that are faced by the people across the country

At the time of COVID-19 pandemic, childhood vaccination programmes have been impacted. According to the report of the advocacy group Child Rights and You, during the lockdown, only half of the Indian families with children under five years were able to access immunisation services.

Do you know?

– Presently, 5 lakhs deaths in India occurred due to vaccine-preventable diseases. This is more than half of the total estimated infant’s deaths occurred per annum.

– The main cause of deaths of most of the infants in India every year is due to diseases like measles-rubella, diarrhoea, pneumonia.

– According to the latest report of WHO, a total of 1.5 million deaths could be avoided globally if there is an improvement in the global vaccination coverage.

Note: At the end, we would like to tell you that this topic is helpful in the preparation of Civil Services Examination and can be asked in Government Policies & Interventions, Health – GSPaper-2.

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