‘Over 40 percent Kolkata slum children out of complete vaccination cover’

Kolkata, Nov 3 (IANS) In worrying signs for children battling infectious diseases, a survey has revealed complete immunization cover doesn’t extend to more than 40 percent of children living in slums in the eastern metropolis, while the figures are worse for the national capital at 31 percent.

A household sample survey called ‘Are Children Getting A Healthy Start’ conducted by Child Rights and You (CRY) for children between the age-group of one to six years shows more than 40 percent of children, under three years, living in slums are out of complete immunization cover.

As much as 58 percent of the surveyed children have received at least one dose of the recommended vaccination.

In addition, there is a also a “slight” gender imbalance evident in the collected data with 61.2 percent boys within one to three years age-group being fully vaccinated, while in the case of girls, it is about 56.5 percent.

The survey was carried out in Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai in addition to Kolkata.

“Delhi fares much worse than Kolkata in this regard, with less than one-third of the children fully vaccinated (about 31 percent) under the age of three years,” the survey said.

With respect to Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) delivery provisions, findings of the sample survey suggest that 87 percent of the respondent parents were “fairly happy” with the way growth monitoring of children is regularly done in the ICDS centres across the city.

But more than 45 percent of parents reported that they do not get regular and pro-active feedback from the centres.

“More worrying is the fact that 76 percent of the respondent parents reportedly were not at all informed by the Aanganwadi Centres that their ward was underweight and needed to be taken to Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres or hospitals,” the study said.

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