100% Vaccination in India? Nothing is Impossible: Dr. Amit Gupta, a Vaccine Hero!
World Immunization Week is recognized every year in April to highlight the importance of people being immunized and protected from deadly diseases by providing them appropriate vaccinations. Vaccinations are one of the most cost-effective ways through which people from every financial and societal segments get medical prevention from getting afflicted by ailments.
The campaign for 2019 is concentrated on two aspects. One, it focuses on the fact that vaccines are an integral part of immunization which is why the hashtag #VaccinesWork. Secondly, the campaign also aims to celebrate and extend gratitude towards the people who have been working towards ensuring people are provided the essential vaccines for immunization. WHO terms them as Vaccine Heroes.
Medikabazaar spoke to one such hero, Dr. Amit Gupta, a Gold Medalist Consulting Pediatrician and Neonatologist based out of Ahmedabad and currently working with Anuradha Children Hospital.
Dr. Gupta has been associated with Rotary – a global network forum of leaders working towards solving global problems – for around 18 years and has been an active member of the Pulse Polio Programme campaign, an initiative of the Indian government directed towards immunizing children.
Taking an example of the above campaign Dr. Gupta said, “The steps taken towards eradicating polio in India is a prime example of immunizations improving in the country.”
However, a July 2018 report by WHO revealed that approximately 19.9 million children around the world don’t receive proper immunization. It further stated that around 60% of these children are in 10 countries, an unfortunate list in which India is also featured.
“The foremost reason has to be a lack of education,” said Dr. Gupta with regards to India being on the list.
“People from rural areas especially don’t understand the importance of vaccination,” he added.
However, as grim as the above numbers may look, Dr. Gupta gave a more affirmative outlook.
He said, “The vaccine coverage, especially with children is definitely improving in India with each passing year. The scenario is improving and to make people more aware about vaccinations, the media has a big role to play.”
He ends by giving a positive message about an India being 100% immunized, which many might think to be an idealistic situation.
Dr. Gupta said, “I believe in the saying, nothing is impossible.”
“I am sure, 100% vaccination will be a reality in India. As I previously mentioned, the pulse polio and the measles-rubella campaigns held recently in 2018 would be of great help. Media, doctors, health workers, NGO, and politicians all have a pivotal part to play in the process.”