Vaccination campaign fails to meet target in urban areas

Pokhara, April 30

The nation-wide vaccination campaign being organised by the government has failed to meet its target in the city areas.

Health workers said though the drive had been successful in hilly and mountainous districts, it failed to meet the target in city and town areas.

Chief of Vaccination Department at the Department of Child Health Mukunda Raj Gautam informed that they had failed to meet the target in urban areas. “We have yet to ascertain the cause behind such low turnout, but we shall learn the cause soon and find a solution,” Gautam said.

Vaccination Officer at Kaski District Public Health Office Ek Narayan Lamsal said his office was able to reach out to 98 per cent of the total targeted population during the immunisation campaign against HPV. He said only 91 out of 130 girls from St Mary’s School participated in the campaign. He lamented that they could not vaccinate other girls though the latter’s parents/guardians had been counselled.

Gautam said lowest turnouts were seen at the settlement behind Prasuti Griha in Kathmandu, and at the squatters’ settlements in Pokhara, among others. “We found that it is much easier to declare the remote districts fully immunised  while the same task is rather difficult in urban areas,” Gautam added.

Meanwhile, health officers attributed the decline in child mortality rates to the effective immunisation campaign. As many as 118 children out of every 1,000 kids below the age of five had died in 1996 while the number has declined to 54 presently.

Currently, children across the nation are being vaccinated against 11 diseases. Gautam said the drive had helped eliminate some ailments and reduce the outbreak of various diseases in the country.