In an initiative to prevent early childhood deaths, around 20 lakh children in the State will be vaccinated against rotavirus.
Inaugurating the State-level initiative in Kasara on Saturday, Health Minister Eknath Shinde said the rotavirus vaccine will now be part of the regular vaccination programme. Rotavirus is the leading cause of diarrhoea in children under five years.
Annually, 3.34 lakh children succumb to diarrhoeal diseases in India, of which close to one lakh die of rotavirus diarrhoea.
“The children up to one year will be given this vaccine in the sixth, 10th, and 14th week,” Mr. Shinde said in a statement.
Incidents of dysentery are high among children in Kasara, a tribal-dominated region. “Starting the vaccination programme in this area is a positive and welcome step,” said Mr. Shinde, who administered the vaccine to five children.
According to Mr. Shinde, training will be provided to health workers in 34 districts and 27 municipal corporations. Around 1.86 lakh officers, employees, ASHA workers, and Anganwadi sevikas have been imparted training at taluka, district, and State level. The minister also inaugurated a new building of the primary health centre at Kasara.
On strengthening of health care, Mr. Shinde said filling of 840 posts of MBBS and specialists is on. “Similarly, BAMS doctors working in remote and tribal areas are being made permanent. Facility of dialysis will be made available in rural areas in sub-district dispensaries.”
Currently, the process to transform sub-centres into Arogya Vardhini Kendras is going on and 100 such kendras have been activated so far. Mr. Shinde inaugurated the new buildings of the kendras at Kasara and Vajreshwari.