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Guj: SAANS campaign launched to curb pneumonia deaths in kids

PTI | Gandhinagar | Updated: 16-11-2019 17:31 IST | Created: 16-11-2019 17:31 IST
Guj: SAANS campaign launched to curb pneumonia deaths in kids

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan on Saturday launched 'SAANS', a campaign aimed at reducing child mortality due to pneumonia, which contributes to around 15 per cent of deaths annually of children under the age of five. SAANS, short for 'Social Awareness and Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully' was launched by the Union Health Ministry to mobilise people to protect children from pneumonia, and train health personnel and other stakeholders to provide prioritised treatment to control the disease.

He was here to inaugurate the the 6thNational Summit on Good, Replicable Practices and Innovations. As per HMIS data, under five mortality rate in the country is 37 per 1000 live births, of which 5.3 deaths are caused due to pneumonia.

The government aims to achieve a target of reducing pneumonia deaths among children to less than three per 1000 live births by 2025, a senior health department official said. The HMIS data for 2018-19 ranked Gujarat 2ndamong 37 states and union territories in the number of child deaths due to pneumonia, after Madhya Pradesh.

The state ranked 5thin infant mortality due to pneumonia. Under the campaign, a child suffering from pneumonia can be treated with pre-referral dose of anti-biotic amoxicillin by ASHA workers, and health and wellness centres can use pulse oximeter (device to monitor oxygen saturation) to identify low oxygen levels in the blood of a child, and if required, treat him by use of oxygen cylinders.

A mass awareness campaign will also be launched about the effective solutions for pneumonia prevention like breast feeding, age appropriate complementary feeding, immunisation, good quality air etc, the official said. A web portal for home-based child care was launched at the event, which would have resource materials (training materials, IEC videos, audios, banners, posters etc) for the home visits of ASHA workers.

Talking to reporters, the Union minister said the three-day event will help share best practices in different projects from different states. "We want to ensure that not a single child is affected due to vaccine preventable diseases. The child should be given all vaccines, which are at least being provided free of cost under universal immunisation programme," the minister said.

"Pregnant mothers should not fall prey to preventable deaths. Our maternal, infant and under 5-child mortality rates should fall more rapidly," Harsh Vardhan said. "We would like the country to become more competent in the fight against malaria by 2022. By 2025, we should be able to eliminate TB from the country," he added.

He asked states to organise such conferences to share knowledge within their districts..



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