The Health Minister said 12 lakh children under the age of five are suffering from various diseases like pneumonia and meningitis. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines have been given for the last two years in various states across India under the Universal Immunisation Programme. The programme was launched in the State last week, in Tiruvallur district.
“Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines are given daily at this hospital. In private hospitals, the vaccine is paid in three instalments for Rs 12,000,” he said.
Children are given three jabs, at the age of 1.5 months, 3.5 months and 9.5 months. Vaccination dates are sent via SMS to their cell phone after the first one. “There are 9,23,000 children under the age of five in Tamil Nadu who need the vaccines. We have received 70,000 vaccines so far,” said the minister.
The minister also checked out the treatment being given to Esakkiammal, a five-year-old girl from Tirunelveli, who was receiving treatment for weight loss due to inadvertent ingestion of bleaching powder as she could not take solid and liquid food.
Doctors from Tenkasi GH have sent her to the Institute of Child Health for treatment for the last 10 days. “We have started treating and feeding the girl through a hole in the stomach. She initially gained two kg and now weighs eight kg. The girl’s mother and father are provided accommodation on the hospital hostel premises,” said the minister.
Similarly, Ebenezer, a 10-year-old boy, had a large tumour in his jaw and had undergone surgery in 2019. The boy has now undergone another operation at the hospital here and is being treated and can speak.