Urgent need to immunise slum kids
Focus: Children and Youth, Health
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Just Rs 210 is enough to give one child’s health a shot in the arm!
Vaccination to avoid debilitating diseases builds up a child’s immune system and stops them from catching those deadly infections later as an adult too. Public health policies all recommend immunisation to reduce preventable illnesses from spreading. Its benefits are not restricted to improvements in health and life expectancy, but it also has a social and economic impact at both the community and national levels.WHY IN KOLKATA SLUMS
Calcutta Rescue recently conducted a health survey in six slum areas of the city, namely No 8 Tank, No 12 Tank, Doi Ghata, Baranagar, Kestopur and Panbazaar. Results showed very low immunisation rates in these communities. For instance, in No 12 Tank area only 9% of the children are known to have been immunised. Currently 450 children under 12 years of age need urgent immunisation in all six communities.
Unvaccinated children are three to six times at risk of dying before their fifth birthday, which makes vaccines the most cost-effective public health intervention to prevent disease and death.
Vaccinations are proven to protect the lives of children and as a public health intervention they should be administered to all children, irrespective of their gender, social background, and/or their religion.
A frightening number of children in these communities are not fully immunised. Giving immunisations is simple and cheap and these children, like any child, deserve to be protected.
Calcutta Rescue have expanded their street medicine operations, which include two free mobile clinics, to the six new areas to treat the sick and improve health literacy. A child identified as needing immunisation will be taken to Calcutta Rescue's urban clinic in Tala Park where two trained staff will administer the vaccines. Parents will be provided with immunisation cards as well as nutritional supplements and medicines for fever.
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