GOALPARA, May 12 - The objective of immunisation is prevention of infectious diseases and as per the data of 2018-19, the aspirational district of Goalpara has witnessed 100.11% immunisation coverage. A total of 22,539 children have been immunised against the target of 22,513 children in the district. The highest targets have been achieved by Mornoi BPHC with 102.31% and Matia BPHC with 102.61% respectively.
It may be mentioned that full immunisation means a child getting three doses of bOPV, Rotavirus & Pentavalent, two doses of fIPV and one dose of MR before the first birthday.
Talking to this correspondent, the Deputy Commissioner who is also the chairperson of the District Health Society, Varnali Deka, while expressing her happiness on the healthy status of children in Goalpara district, said that children are immunised as they receive vaccines routinely that protect them from more than a dozen diseases. This subsequently results in substantial decrease in the incidence of diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus and polio, pertussis, measles, mumps, tuberculosis and rubella etc.
Deka also said that to reach each and everyone in the district was a daunting task especially because of geographical diversity which includes hilly terrain on the southern part and different terrain of char areas, cultural diversity including various religions, languages, traditions, beliefs and customs. Some of these problems are very unique to Goalpara which makes the task of immunisation that more difficult. Deka further added that the health workers had to overcome stiff resistance, specially from the members of Garo community, as there is lack of awareness among them regarding immunisation and also they did not feel the need for vaccination.
The health workers had to encounter cases of pregnancy before marriage, child marriage among the Garo community thereby creating a mistaken identity for the ‘Mother and Child Protection’ card besides overcoming the barrier of lack of awareness in two tea gardens Similitola and Moijonga by using effective Information Education and Communication (IEC), taking the help of ASHA, anganwadi workers, child protection units of District Social Welfare Department, Inland Water Transport for char areas which were some of the measures taken for bringing immunisation closer to the community.
Moreover, Varnali Deka informed that other major challenges tackled included the transportation and storage of vaccines during the monsoon season, remedial measures taken for removing obstacles and improving the overall immunisation status, adequate supervision and monitoring and also creating more delivery points for routine immunisation. She also thanked the Director of Health Services (FW) and other medical staff for achieving the 100 % target in the aspirational district of Goalpara.