The member nations of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia have postponed the deadline for achieving the eradication of measles and rubella. India accounts for 36% of the global measles cases. The major campaign undertaken by the Indian government is currently facing challenges due to the reluctance of the public and also because of its vast coverage. The deadline has been postponed mainly due to these hindrances. The government needs to address these issues to make India free from the two major childhood killers – measles and rubella
Despite the emergence of newer killer pathogens like Ebola, M. tuberculosis still remains the top pathogenic killer. In spite of being discovered as early as the 1880s, the pathogen continues to affect millions of people – even more than malaria. Recently, WHO highlighted India’s position as the country with the highest-burden of this preventable and curable disease.
UK government is currently facing criticism for implementing “targeted herd immunity” during the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak in the country. This strategy involves allowing people to be infected so that they can gain immunity. The government was forced to abandon this controversial strategy after seeing an increase in pressure on the country’s healthcare system. Now, the death toll has surpassed 30,000 due to COVID-19 in the UK. The World Health Organisation has warned that herd immunity strategy is experimental at best and dangerous at worst. Yet, some experts in India are also considering this strategy as a way to reduce the problems faced by the economy, which is suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic.
As India is preparing to vaccinate most of its population against the COVID-19 disease, India’s immunisation programme and its readiness have come to the fore as a matter of discussion. Immunisation is a proven tool to control and eliminate life-threatening diseases. India has numerous schemes and programmes to save its population from various diseases and it has the legacy of adhering to reach the goals it set for itself. The Government of India in collaboration with the States runs various immunisation programmes throughout the country and ensures the health and wellness of its population. At the same, the country faces several challenges in delivering vaccines to targeted beneficiaries and thus it will be keenly observed how the nation deals with the challenges in administering its immunisation programmes.
The Prime Minister had inaugurated the national Animal Disease Control Program at Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura. It aims to eradicate 2 major diseases affecting the Indian livestock- Foot and Mouth Disease/ FMD and the Brucellosis. Both these diseases are of major concern, especially to the dairy industry.