20 million children worldwide missed out on life-saving vaccines in 2018: WHO - Indiarox
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20 million children worldwide missed out on life-saving vaccines in 2018: WHO

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In 2018, immunization services such as DTP3 did not reach an estimated 19.4 million infants worldwide. Around 60 percent of these children live in 10 countries, including India and Pakistan

 

Recent data revealed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF have shown that the lives of 1.5 million children across the world could have been saved if more attention was paid to global immunization.

The data also points out that 20 million children worldwide missed out on life-saving vaccines against diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus and measles in 2018.

In 2018, immunization services such as DTP3 did not reach an estimated 19.4 million infants worldwide. Around 60 percent of these children live in 10 countries, including India and Pakistan.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said even though vaccination is one of the most important tools for preventing outbreaks and keeping the world safe, far too many were left behind. He added that unfortunately, the poorest of the poor, the marginalized and those touched by conflict are the ones who were being consistently missed out.

Most of the world’s unvaccinated children lived in 16 of the poorest and conflict-affected nations. “If these children do get sick, they are at risk of the severest health consequences, and least likely to access lifesaving treatment and care,” noted the WHO.

The report comes in the wake of a severe measles outbreak in various African nations, particularly in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where over 2,500 cases have been reported.

In 2018, almost 350,000 measles cases were reported globally, more than doubling from 2017.

“Measles is a real-time indicator of where we have more work to do to fight preventable diseases,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF’s Executive Director.

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