A Shot of Good Health : CRY India’s Immunization Campaign

SINGAPORE, July 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Gopika was born against all the odds in an area of India where foeticide is prevalent. Hailing from Ponamalai Nagar, a village in the Salem district of Andhra Pradesh, her family cherished their daughter, taking the utmost care in her health and development. Yet before long the harsh reality of extreme poverty set in and the family was forced to migrate to a remote brick kiln where they ended up in bonded labour. From the moment she was born, administering the necessary vaccines proved to be a huge challenge and for the first three months of her life Gopika received only intermittent vaccinations, due to the irregularity of her Auxiliary Nurse and Midwife (ANM) visits. Once the family had migrated to the brick kiln, these visits disappeared altogether. Now, with the help of CRY India’s partner SPT, ANMs are gaining access to remote areas such as these in order to immunize young and vulnerable children.

Statistics reveal that an estimated 11.6 lakh children in India die every year before their first birthday, due to lack of immunization. Contributing factors include a lack of awareness, the distance between villages and public healthcare centres, a dearth of qualified health professionals/auxiliary nursing midwives, migration, and inadequate infrastructure such as cold storage.

CRY works with its partners to overcome these barriers and ensure that local public healthcare and Angandwadi centres have the necessary infrastructure and qualified health workers to deliver effective maternal and child healthcare.

Thanks to Happy First Birthday, CRY India’s immunization initiative, Gopika and thousands of children like her will grow up healthy, free from preventable disease. This 45 day initiative aims to ensure that 42,971 children across India have access to mandatory vaccines in the first twelve months, offering protection against easily preventable, yet often fatal illnesses. 

Anita Bala Sharad, Director, Resource Mobilization, CRY says, "Immunization plays a critical role in reducing child and infant mortality. A child’s first birthday is a celebration of survival, however, lack of access to life-saving vaccines causes hundreds of thousands of children to die each year. With this initiative, CRY aims to ensure that children gain access to these vaccines, which are crucial to minimizing the risk of death by preventable disease."

To find out more and contribute, visit the CRY initiative at http://www.cry.org/microsite/fundraising2014/index-gops.html.

Contact: Manoj Sharma, msharma@thefact.in, +91-9811135420