New Delhi: Minister of State (MoS) for Health and Family Welfare, Ashwini Kumar Choubey stated in Parliament this week that as per National Family Health Survey (NFHS), the prevalence in children under 3 years of age of Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) which includes pneumonia and bronchitis was 19.3% in NFHS 2 (1998-99), 5.8% in NFHS 3 (2005-06) and was 2.7% in NFHS 4 (2015-16) in children under 5 years of age.
SAANS (Social Awareness and Actions to Neutralize Pneumonia Successfully) initiative has been undertaken to accelerate action to reduce deaths due to childhood pneumonia.
The SAANS initiative encompasses a three-tiered strategy:
i) National Childhood Pneumonia Management Guidelines on treatment and management of Childhood Pneumonia,
ii) Skill building and training of service providers for identification and standardized management of pneumonia, and,
iii) a 360-degree communication SAANS Campaign to ensure greater awareness on childhood Pneumonia among families and parents in order to trigger behaviour change and improve care-seeking.
The Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) focuses on Measles, Haemophilus Influenzae (B) and Pneumococcal Vaccine for prevention of pneumonia.
Early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and appropriate Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices are promoted under Mothers’ Absolute Affection (MAA) initiative.
Facility-based Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illness (F-IMNCI) training to build the capacity of medical officers and nurses in primary health centres, first referral units, community health centres, and district hospitals on ARI management.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) has been introduced since May 2017 in a phased manner under the UIP. Since its inception, 93.20 lakh children have been vaccinated with PCV till October 2019 in the states of Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, 19 districts of Uttar Pradesh and 18 districts of Rajasthan.
To disseminate knowledge about Pneumococcal conjugate vaccination under the Universal Immunization Program of National Health Mission, awareness in the community has been generated utilizing audio-visual and print material like poster, banner, leaflet, TV spot and radio spot and use of social media through WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook messages.
Awareness among service providers like medical officers and front line workers like Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs), Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) and Anganwadi workers (AWWs) has also been created through training.
The Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, stated this in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on 13 December.
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