Union Health Minister Shri JP Nadda administering Rotavirus vaccine to a six-week old  child in BhubaneshwarBhubaneswar, 26th March, 2016: Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Sri J.P. Nadda launched Rotavirus vaccine in the presence of Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Sri Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Sri Sripad Yesso Naik in Bhubaneswar today at Hotel Swasti Premium, Bhubaneswar. Odisha Health Minister, Sri Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak was also present at the occasion.

“We have achieved a new milestone towards expanding the coverage of full immunization in the country aimed at reducing child mortality”, said Shri J.P. Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare today at the national launch of the Rotavirus vaccine as part of the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) of the country.

“Adding this life-saving vaccine to our immunization program will not only improve the health of our children but also reduce hospitalization and other conditions associated with diarrhea due to Rotavirus such as malnutrition, delayed physical and mental development among children. Reduced hospitalization reduces the economic burden on the family and the health cost burden on the country”, informed J.P.Nadda. He further stated that the Rotavirus vaccine has been developed indigenously, under a public-private partnership by the Ministry of Science and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Rotavirus is singularly responsible for up to 40% of all cases of severe diarrhoea in India. It is highly contagious and spreads through oral-fecal route. The virus is highly resistant to traditional methods like improved hygiene and sanitation. It can cause, rapid vomiting and diarrhoea quickly leading to dehydration and possibly death.

In addition, four new vaccines are being introduced as part of UIP including Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV), Rotavirus vaccine, Measles, Rubella (MR) vaccine, and Adult Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccine. With these new vaccines, India’s UIP will provide free vaccines against 12 life threatening diseases, to 27 million children annually, the largest birth cohort in the world.

“This is a very important initiative of the Government of India. This will help to alleviate the health problems created by rotavirus in Odisha in the monsoon months”, said Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of States (I/C), Petroleum and Natural Gas. Shri Dharmendra Pradhan also appreciated the credible hard work put in by the health workers and urged for getting children vaccinated against rotavirus.

The Odisha Health Minister, Sri Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, informed that this will have tremendous impact in the health program of the country. He further emphasized the attention to quality by the Odisha Government in all its RCH initiatives.

Also present at the function were senior officers of the Union Health Ministry including Shri C K Mishra, AS & MD (NHM) and Dr. Rakesh Kumar, JS (RCH); Smt. Arti Ahuja and senior officers of Odisha Government and representatives of development partners such as WHO, UNICEF, PHFI etc.

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