Two-thirds of those zero-dose infants live below the global poverty line, and their families live on less than $2.35 a day, in urban slums or conflict areas, according to a new Canadian-Indian study published in The Lancet Global Health.
Researchers analyzed national survey data to better understand how social, economic and geographic disparities in India between 1992 and 2016 determine children’s odds of survival without immunization.
In the text, they describe that the Asian country has made tremendous progress in routine vaccination of children during the phase and the proportion without doses has tripled, from 33 percent in the first year to 10 in the last year.
However, they note that in 2016, children continued to be concentrated in disadvantaged groups, including low-income families, children born to less educated mothers, and pregnant women who do not make full use of health services.
Additionally, compared to those immunized against any disease, those with zero doses were more likely to be malnourished.
In total, at the end of the assessment period, they estimated 2.9 million unvaccinated children in India, located in less developed states and provinces and in many urban areas.
They acknowledged the push for action in general to 2020 provided by the Alliance for Immunization, known as GAVI, in collaboration with executives from different countries, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The authors noted that they have succeeded in getting far more children in poor countries in Africa and elsewhere to receive routine medications: 81 percent so far this year, compared to 59 in 2000.
Myra Johari, study leader and professor of public health at the University of Montreal, Canada, cautioned that the international community must give top priority to interventions that address the cycle of differences we are assessing along the way.
Globally, the Indian experience indicates that “the zero-dose vaccination status of children is an important sign of the vulnerability associated with systemic life deprivation,” the researcher emphasized.
Johari noted that identifying children who do not get a zero dose and intervening early to address the complex sources of deprivation they face has the potential to change life chances and combat intergenerational inequalities.
M / Zinc
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