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Nearly 90 percent babies immunised in Haryana district

Haryana,Health/Medicine, Thu, 26 Apr 2012 IANS

Rohtak, April 26 (IANS) Nearly 90 percent babies below one year of age in Haryana's Rohtak district have been immunised, much more than the national average, despite illiteracy and people's ignorance hindering government efforts, an official said.


The official Wednesday told a team of reporters that the rate of immunised babies in the district has gone up from 50 percent in 2005 to 61 percent in 2008 and to 82 percent in 2011. The national average in 2011 was 62 percent. The local administration claims the rate at present is between 90 to 95 percent.



'The government and several other agencies attached to this cause are determined to achieve 100 percent immunisation rate,' said Kuldip Singh, deputy civil surgeon of Rohtak. The district records 19,000 child births every year.



'We have taken several initiatives, including sending SMS alerts to parents to remind them of the scheduled dates for immunisation and educating locals with the help of posters and pamphlets,' he added.



According to officials, the Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA), the Auxiliary Nurse Midwife and Anganwadi workers were playing a crucial role in assisting the administration and motivating people.



However, despite the steady growth, some factors like people's illiteracy and ignorance were hindering the government efforts, said an official.



According to Hemlata Singh, an ASHA worker in an urban medical centre, there were cases of parents opposing their babies' vaccination, calling it a 'totka' (black magic).



'There was a 24-year-old mother who had delivered a son, when I asked her to get him immunised she refused, declaring the use of syringes as a 'totka'. When I put pressure on her, she started abusing and threatening me,' Hemlata said.



'The backward castes and minority groups need to be educated as they have a lot of apprehensions over immunisation,' she added.



Rohtak's Civil Surgeon V.K. Govila, however, claimed that he had not heard of any such case.



Immunisation campaigns in the country, including Rohtak, have been supported by the Unicef.


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