Vaccination plays a central role in reduction of infant mortality and morbidity due to various infectious diseases. Ensuring vaccination to every child specially below one year is essential to achieve the target of MDG 4 that is to reduce our infant mortality rate to 35/1000 live birth by 2015.
With a view to enhancing knowledge on vaccination practice and discussing about further strategy to move forward, Asia Vaccine Congress 2013 ended in Cebu Island Philippine. About 17 delegates from Bangladesh also joined in this congress to share the vaccination status, challenges and future policy. The delegates stressed on strengthening existing Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) and introduce more life saving and cost-effective vaccines.
In Philippine and some other Asian countries, Rotavirus and Pneumococcal vaccine have been included in their EPI schedule. Few more vaccines are in pipeline to be added soon like Meningococcal vaccine, Hepatitis A, Typhoid vaccine. A newer Cholera vaccine is being introduced in some parts of Africa where Cholera is an endemic or epidemic.
Experts and speakers in the summit urged researchers and scientists to do more extensive work to find out effective vaccines against HIV, Malaria, Bronchiolitis, Shigella. They also asked for global initiative combined with public-private partnership to develop vaccine to eradicate all the important public health infectious diseases.
The summit also highlighted the crucial need for vaccine coverage to preterm, low birth weight babies, refugees, people in slums and street children who need the vaccine most.
Proper personal hygiene maintenance along with safe, effective, affordable vaccination in proper time will definitely help to eradicate many more infectious diseases in near future. Only such united and sincere effort can make this world more suitable for our beloved children.
The writer is a Professor of Paediatrics at Community Based Medical College, Mymensingh.