Immunization during pregnancy is a simple and effective way to protect the mother and child from certain infections. The immunological changes occur during pregnancy which may be responsible for the susceptibility of certain infectious diseases that increases the risk of more serious outcomes. Vaccination of pregnant women can protect to mother against vaccine-preventable infections, and in so doing potentially protect the fetus. Immunization during pregnancy can also directly protect the fetus and infant via transferred of antibodies from the mother to the fetus. This is why vaccinations during pregnancy are so important. Vaccination during pregnancy is a cost-effective strategy to improve pregnancy outcomes in India. Globally, no scientific study exist which shows the risk of fetus after vaccination of pregnant women with inactivated vaccines or bacterial vaccines or toxoids. Even live vaccines causing risk to fetus is theoretical. Vaccination with inactivated virus, bacterial or toxoid in pregnancy is risk to a developing fetus during pregnancy is theoretical. But definitely the live vaccine poses a theoretical risk to a developing fetus. Therefore, all live vaccines should be avoided during pregnancy. The developing country like India where the people can't afford these vaccines, the government should be included these vaccines in routine immunization program.
Fetus; immunity; infectious diseases; pregnancy; vaccines
With the commitment of the national government to provide universal healthcare at cheap and affordable prices in India, public healthcare services are being strengthened in India. However, there is dearth of cost data for provision of health services through public system like primary & community health centres. In this study, we aim to bridge this gap in evidence by assessing the total annual and per capita cost of delivering the package of health services at PHC and CHC level. Secondly, we determined the per capita cost of delivering specific health services like cost per antenatal care visit, per institutional delivery, per outpatient consultation, per bed-day hospitalization etc.
We undertook economic costing of fourteen public health facilities (seven PHCs and CHCs each) in three North-Indian states viz., Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. Bottom-up costing method was adopted for collection of data on all resources spent on delivery of health services in selected health facilities. Analysis was undertaken using a health system perspective. The joint costs like human resource, capital, and equipment were apportioned as per the time value spent on a particular service. Capital costs were discounted and annualized over the estimated life of the item. Mean annual costs and unit costs were estimated along with their 95% confidence intervals using bootstrap methodology.
The overall annual cost of delivering services through public sector primary and community health facilities in three states of north India were INR 8.8 million (95% CI: 7,365,630–10,294,065) and INR 26.9 million (95% CI: 22,225,159.3–32,290,099.6), respectively. Human resources accounted for more than 50% of the overall costs at both the level of PHCs and CHCs. Per capita per year costs for provision of complete package of preventive, curative and promotive services at PHC and CHC were INR 170.8 (95% CI: 131.6–208.3) and INR162.1 (95% CI: 112–219.1), respectively.
The study estimates can be used for financial planning of scaling up of similar health services in the urban areas under the aegis of National Health Mission. The estimates would be also useful in undertaking equity analysis and full economic evaluations of the health systems.
HIV infection is a major public health problem especially in the developing countries. Once a person infects with HIV, it remained infected for lifelong. The advanced stage developed after 10–15 y of HIV infection that stage is called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). From 1990 to 2000 the number of people living with HIV rose from 8 million to 27 million; since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, AIDS has claimed almost 39million lives so far. Till now, there is no cure for HIV infection; however, after the introduction of effective treatment with antiretroviral (ARV) drugs the HIV individual can enjoy healthy and productive lives. Vaccine is safe and cost-effective to prevent illness, impairment, disability and death. Like other vaccines, a preventive HIV vaccine could help save millions of lives. All vaccines work the same way i.e. the antigen stimulate the immune system and develop antibodies. The ultimate goal is to develop a safe and effective vaccine that protects people worldwide from getting infected with HIV. However, some school of thought that vaccine may protects only some HIV people, it could have a major impact on the rates of transmission of HIV and this will help in control of epidemic, especially in populations where high rate of HIV transmission. In the past, some scientist doubted on the development of an effective polio vaccine, but now we are near to eradicate the polio from the world this is possible because of successful vaccination programmes. HIV vaccine research is aided by the not-for-profit International AIDS/HIV vaccine Initiative (IAVI), which helps to support and coordinate vaccine research, development, policy and advocacy around the world. Although the challenges for scientist are intimidating but scientists remain hopeful that they can develop safe and effective HIV vaccines for patients in future.
advocacy; AIDS; clinical trial; HIV; vaccine
India's tourism industry generated 6.6% of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during 2012. International travel to India is predicted to grow at an average annual rate of ∼8% over the next decade. The number of foreign tourists has increased by 9% to 5.8 million. Approximately 8% of travelers to developing countries require medical care during or after travel; the main diagnoses are vaccine-preventable diseases. Travelers to India can be exposed to various infectious diseases; water-borne, water-related, and zoonotic diseases may be imported to India where the disease is not endemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes that all international travelers should be up to date with routine vaccinations. The recommended vaccinations for travelers to India vary according to the traveler's age, immunization history, existing medical conditions, duration, legal requirements for entry into countries being visited, travelers preferences, and values. Travelers should consult with a doctor so that there is sufficient time for completion of optimal vaccination schedules. No matter where traveling, one should be aware of potential exposure to certain organisms that can cause severely illnesses, even death. There is no doubt that vaccines have reduced or virtually eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled children and adults just a few generations ago. Thus, travelers must take recommended vaccines per schedule before traveling to India.
traveler; disease; immunizations; disability; vaccines
WHO defines adolescence age between 10 to 19 years. In India, there are 243 million adolescents which constitute 21 per cent of the total population. The global burden of disease in adolescents (2011) reports that the total number of disability adjusted life years (DALYs) worldwide among adolescents were 230 million which constitutes 15.5% of total DALYs. The immunization is one of the most important, most beneficial and cost-effective disease prevention measures that can be provided for adolescents. The adolescent vaccination protects most of the world's adolescents from a number of infectious diseases that previously claimed millions of lives each year. In India, thousands of adolescents die and thousands are hospitalized every year due to communicable diseases that could have been prevented by vaccination. Main aims of adolescent vaccinations are: to boost immunity status that is waning after completion of primary immunization or absence of “natural” boosting due exposure to the particular disease. The recommendations for the immunization of adolescents are to improve vaccination coverage among them. The adolescent vaccinations also help in accelerate disease control or elimination effort. Improvement in adolescent immunization coverage in India, will require strengthening of health care delivery system and also require significant improvements in the health care functionaries ability and willingness to provide and deliver vaccines to adolescents.
adolescence; disability adjusted life years; control; elimination; vaccination
The population in India over age 60 years has tripled in the past 50 years and will relentlessly increase in the near future. According to census 2011, elderly people were 8.1% of the total population, and the projections for population over 60 years over the next 4 censuses are 133 million (2021) expanding to 301 million (2051). In developing countries, the elderly have suffered from both communicable and non-communicable diseases. Moreover, advancing age is associated with decreased immunity along with physiological changes, and poor health leads to increased risk of infectious diseases. Infections such as pneumococcal, influenza, tetanus, and zoster are more common among elderly population. These infections are major causes of morbidity and mortality among the elderly and are responsible for a large number of deaths and hospitalizations. Communicable diseases like influenza and pneumonia are the fifth leading cause of death among elderly persons. A study reported the incidence of nosocomial infections in geriatric patients in India to be ~20%. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was the most common microbe associated with Urinary Tract Infection, while Staphylococcus aureus was frequently observed in cases of pneumonia among hospitalized elderly population. In India, because of many reasons, preventive care for elderly persons is often neglected. Among the many infections to which the elderly are prone, some can be prevented by administration of appropriate vaccines. Vaccination of the elderly is one of the most effective means of preventing disease, disability, and death from infectious diseases.
infection; pneumonia; disability; death; vaccine
Vaccination is recommended throughout life to prevent infectious diseases and their sequelae. Vaccines are crucial to prevent mortality in that >25% of deaths are due to infections. Vaccines are recommended for adults on the basis of a range of factors. Substantial improvement and increases in adult vaccination are needed to reduce the health consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases among adults. Incomplete and inadequate immunization in India against these communicable diseases results in substantial and unnecessary costs both in terms of hospitalization and treatment. The government of India as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) consider childhood vaccination as the first priority, but there is not yet focus on adult immunization. Adult immunization in India is the most ignored part of heath care services. The Expert Group recommended that data on infectious diseases in India should be updated, refined, and reviewed periodically and published regularly. This group suggested that the consensus guidelines about adult immunization should be reviewed every 3 years to incorporate new strategies from any emerging research from India. There is an immediate need to address the problem of adult immunization in India. Although many issues revolving around efficacy, safety, and cost of introducing vaccines for adults at the national level are yet to be resolved, there is an urgent need to sensitize the health planners as well as health care providers regarding this pertinent issue.
Communicable diseases; morbidity; mortality; disability; vaccination
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) was first identified in 1989. HCV is a small, enveloped RNA virus. Globally, 3–4 million persons are infected with HCV each year, and are at risk of developing liver cirrhosis and/or liver cancer. The common modalities of the spread of hepatitis C infection are blood transfusions, injection drug use, unsafe therapeutic injections, and healthcare-related procedures. The standard treatment for hepatitis C has been combination antiviral therapy with interferon (IFN) and ribavirin, which are effective against all the genotypes of hepatitis viruses (pan-genotypic). A 12-month course of Peg-IFN/ribavirin treatment costs > $20 000. New HCV-specific antiviral drugs, especially in combination, have shown very high cure rates; however, the annual cost for a single subject ($82 000) make these unaffordable in most of the world. There is no hepatitis C vaccine. However, several vaccines in development, and some have shown promising preclinical results. Over the last few years, numerous HCV vaccine approaches have been assessed in mice and primates, but only a few vaccines have progressed to human trials. The challenge to develop HCV vaccine is to move into larger at-risk or infected populations to test efficacy.
HCV; Genotype; Cirrhosis; Vaccine; Clinical trial
Yellow fever (YF) is an acute viral communicable disease transmitted by an arbovirus of the Flavivirus genus. It is primarily a zoonotic disease, especially the monkeys. Worldwide, an estimated 200 000 cases of yellow fever occurred each year, and the case-fatality rate is ~15%. Forty-five endemic countries in Africa and Latin America, with a population of close to 1 billion, are at risk. Up to 50% of severely affected persons from YF die without treatment. During 2009, 55 cases and 18 deaths were reported from Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. Brazil reported the maximum number of cases and death, i.e., 42 cases with 11 deaths. From January 2010 to March 2011, outbreaks of YF were reported to the WHO by Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Uganda. Cases were also reported in three northern districts of Abim, Agago, and Kitugun near the border with South Sudan. YF usually causes fever, muscle pain with prominent backache, headache, shivers, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting. Most patients improve, and their symptoms disappear after 3 to 4 d. Half of the patients who enter the toxic phase die within 10–14 d, while the rest recover without significant organ damage. Vaccination has been the single most important measure for preventing YF. The 17D-204 YF vaccine is a freeze-dried, live attenuated, highly effective vaccine. It is available in single-dose or multi-dose vials and should be stored at 2–8 °C. It is reconstituted with normal saline and should be used within 1 h of reconstitution. The 0.5 mL dose is delivered subcutaneously. Revaccination is recommended every 10 y for people at continued risk of exposure to yellow fever virus (YFV). This vaccine is available worldwide. Travelers, especially to Africa or Latin America from Asia, must have a certificate documenting YF vaccination, which is required by certain countries for entry under the International Health Regulations (IHR) of the WHO.
yellow fever; virus; vaccine; quarantine; control
Alpinia galanga Linn. belongs to the family Zingiberaceae has been used as a traditional medicine in China for relieving stomach ache, treating cold, invigorating the circulatory systems, diabetes, and reducing swelling.
To evaluate the antidiabetic activity of methanolic extract of A. galanga aerial parts on streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic rats.
Materials and Methods:
Diabetes was induced by single intraperitoneal injection of STZ at a dose of 60 mg/kg bodyweight. Test drug methanolic extract of A. galanga (200 and 400 mg/kg b.w.) and glibenclamide (10 mg/kg b.w.) as standard drug was administered orally for 21 consecutive days in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Fasting blood glucose level, serum lipid profiles, as well as initial and final changes in body weight were assessed along with histopathology. All the parameters were statistically analyzed by using one-way ANOVA followed by Bonferroni t-test.
Experimental findings showed significant dose dependent antidiabetic potential of methanolic extract in terms of reduction of fasting blood glucose level and various biochemical parameters in diabetic rats when compared with that of the diabetic control group, which might be due to the stimulatory effect of methanolic extracts on the regenerating β-cells and also on the surviving β-cells.
Methanolic extract of aerial parts of A. galanga was effective in controlling blood glucose level and improve lipid profile in euglycemic as well as diabetic rats.
Alpinia galanga; antidiabetic activity; methanolic extract; streptozotocin
Malaria is a major public health problem, afflicting ~36% of the world’s population. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that there were 216 million cases of malaria in 2010, and ~655,000 people died from the disease (~2000 per day), many under age five. Yet the disease, a killer for centuries, remains endemic in many poor nations, particularly in Africa, where it is blamed for retarding economic growth. India contributes ~70% of the 2.5 million reported cases in Southeast Asia. Malaria is also an important threat to travelers to the tropics, causing thousands of cases of illness and occasional deaths. The 5 Plasmodium species known to cause malaria are P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae and P. knowlesi. Most cases of malaria are uncomplicated, but some can quickly turn into severe, often fatal, episodes in vulnerable individuals if not promptly diagnosed and effectively treated. Malaria vaccines have been an area of intensive research, but there is no effective vaccine. Vaccines are among the most cost-effective tools for public health; they have historically contributed to a reduction in the spread and burden of infectious diseases. Many antigens present throughout the parasite life cycle that could be vaccine targets. More than 30 of these are being researched by teams worldwide in the hope of identifying a combination that can elicit protective immunity. Most vaccine research has focused on the P. falciparum strain due to its high mortality and the ease of conducting in vitro and in vivo studies. DNA-based vaccines are a new technology that may hold hope for an effective malaria vaccine.
malaria; parasites; immunity; research; vaccines
To evaluate the diagnostic pharmacognostical characters of Costus speciosus (aerial parts) along with their physico-chemical parameters and fluorosence analysis.
The pharmacognostical characters were determined in terms of macroscopy, microscopy, powder microscopy, leaf constant, fluorescence analysis and preliminary phytochemical investigation.
The findings of macroscopy revealed that leaves elliptic to oblong or oblong-lancoelate, thick, spirally arranged, with stem clasping sheaths up to 4 cm, flowers large, white, cone-like terminal spikes, with bright red bracts. Transverse section of leaflet showed the presence of cuticularised epidermis with polygonal cells on adaxial surface and bluntly angled cells on abaxial surface of lamina, mesophyll cells differentiated in to single layered palisade cells on each surface and 2-3 layered spongy parenchyma, unicellular and uniseriate multicellular covering trichomes, paracytic stomata and vascular bundles surrounded by sclerenchymatous multicellular sheath. Preliminary phytochemical screening exhibited the presence of various phytochemical groups like alkaloids, glycosides, steroids, phenolic constituents. Further, the leaf constants, powder microscopy and fluorescence characteristics indicated outstanding results from this investigation
Various pharmacognostical and physico-chemical parameters have pivotal roles in identification, authentication and establishment of quality parameters of the species.
Costus speciosus; Quality control; Physico-chemical parameters; Microscopy; Fluorescence analysis
Leptospirosis is an infectious disease of worldwide distribution that is caused by pathogenic spirochete bacteria of the genus Leptospira. It is transmitted by the urine of an infected animal and contagious in a moist environment. Epidemiological studies indicate that infection is commonly associated with certain occupational workers such as farmers, sewage workers, veterinarians, and animal handlers. The annual incidence is estimated at 0.1–1 per 100,000 in temperate climates to 10–100 per 100,000 in the humid tropics. A disease incidence of more than 100 per 100,000 is encountered during outbreaks and in high-exposure risk groups. The 11 countries in South-East Asia (SEA) together have a population of more than 1.7 billion and a work force of about 770 million with more than 450 million people engaged in agriculture. Because of the large number of serovars and infection sources and the wide differences in conditions of transmission, the control of leptospirosis is complicated and will depend on local conditions. The available leptospirosis vaccines are mono- or polyvalent cellular suspensions. These cells are inactivated by chemical agents like formaldehyde and phenol, or by physical agents like heat. The vaccine confers protection for not longer than about one year, while there are cases that need revaccination six months later during epidemic periods.
bacteria; incidence; outbreak; prevention; vaccine
We assessed overall annual and unit cost of delivering package of services and specific services at sub-centre level by CHWs and cost effectiveness of Government of India’s policy of introducing a second auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) at the sub-centre compared to scenario of single ANM sub-centre.
We undertook an economic costing of health services delivered by CHWs, from a health system perspective. Bottom-up costing method was used to collect data on resources spent in 50 randomly selected sub-centres selected from 4 districts. Mean unit cost along with its 95% confidence intervals were estimated using bootstrap method. Multiple linear regression model was used to standardize cost and assess its determinants.
Annually it costs INR 1.03 million (USD 19,381), or INR 187 (USD 3.5) per capita per year, to provide a package of preventive, curative and promotive services through community health workers. Unit costs for antenatal care, postnatal care, DOTS treatment and immunization were INR 525 (USD 10) per full ANC care, INR 767 (USD 14) per PNC case registered, INR 974 (USD 18) per DOTS treatment completed and INR 97 (USD 1.8) per child immunized in routine immunization respectively. A 10% increase in human resource costs results in 6% rise in per capita cost. Similarly, 10% increment in the ANC case registered per provider through-put results in a decline in unit cost ranging from 2% in the event of current capacity utilization to 3% reduction in case of full capacity utilization. Incremental cost of introducing 2nd ANM at sub-centre level per unit percent increase ANC coverage was INR 23,058 (USD 432).
Our estimates would be useful in undertaking full economic evaluations or equity analysis of CHW programs. Government of India’s policy of hiring 2nd ANM at sub-centre level is very cost effective from Indian health system perspective.
Toxoplasmosis is caused by the protozoan parasite T. gondii. Humans and other warm-blooded animals are its hosts. The infection has a worldwide distribution; one-third of the world’s population has been exposed to this parasite. There are three primary ways of transmission: ingesting uncooked meat containing tissue cysts, ingesting food and water contaminated with oocysts from infected cat feces and congenitally. Those particularly at risk of developing clinical illness include pregnant women, given that the parasite can pose a serious threat to the unborn child if the mother becomes infected while pregnant, and immunosuppressed individuals such as tissue transplant subjects, AIDS subjects, those with certain types of cancer and those undergoing certain forms of cancer therapy. Maternal infections early in pregnancy are less likely to be transmitted to the fetus than infections later in pregnancy, but early fetal infections are more likely to be severe than later infections. In the absence of an effective human vaccine, prevention of zoonotic transmission might be the best way to approach the problem of toxoplasmosis and must be done by limiting exposure to oocysts or tissue cysts. Vaccine development to prevent feline oocyst shedding is ongoing, mostly with live vaccines. The S48 strain Toxovax is a live vaccine originally developed for use in sheep, but when used in cats inhibits sexual development of T. gondii. This vaccine is used in sheep to reduce tissue cyst development. The T-263 strain of T. gondii is a live mutant strain designed to reduce or prevent oocyst shedding by cats by developing only partial infection in the feline intestinal tract.
parasite; oocyst; pregnancy; congenital anomalies; vaccine
Hepatitis C is a global public health problem. As many as 12 million people may be chronically infected in India and most are unaware of it.
To determine the incidence of hepatitis C in the Ratia block of the Fatehabad district, Haryana, India.
This cross-sectional study was carried out by house-tohouse visits over 2 weeks. After obtaining written consent, a blood sample was drawn from suspected cases by a laboratory technician maintaining all necessary safety precautions and sterilization.
Of the samples, 1,630 (22.3 per cent) were found to be positive for hepatitis C by ELISA, 253 (15.5 per cent) patients were previously hepatitis C positive, and adults (21–60 years) were affected maximally (70.0 per cent).
The study emphasises the need for public awareness campaigns at various levels and prevention of HCV infection. It also suggests the need to develop and strengthen evaluation methodology for the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP).
Hepatitis C; HCV; community
Human papilloma viruses (HPVs) infect the skin and mucosal epithelium of both men and women. There are about 100 types of HPVs, which are differentiated by the genetic sequence of the outer capsid protein L1. More than 30 types of HPVs are sexually transmitted. Most cases of carcinoma of the cervix are caused by HPV. Cervical cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in women is the second biggest cause of female cancer mortality worldwide. The worldwide incidence of cervical carcinoma is 529,000 per year, and mortality is 275,000, of which an estimated 88% of deaths occur in developing countries. At least 20 million people worldwide are already chronically infected. Over 80% of cases of cervical carcinoma occurs in developing countries, with 25% estimated to occur in India. At least 50% of sexually active men and women encounter genital HPV at some time in their lives. Cervical cancer is ranked as the most frequent cancer in women in India. India has a population of approximately 366 million women above 15 y of age, who are at risk of developing cervical cancer. The current estimates indicate approximately 132,000 new cases diagnosed and 74,000 deaths annually in India, accounting for nearly one-third of the global cervical cancer deaths. HPV can be prevented by vaccination. Two types of HPV vaccines are available, as Gardasil and Cervarix, both of which are highly effective at preventing HPV infection. HPV vaccine is administered in a three-dose series administered by intramuscular injection, either in the deltoid muscle or in the antero-lateral thigh. The second and third doses should be administered 2 and 6 mo after the first dose respectively. The minimum interval between the first and second doses should be 4 weeks, between the second and third dose should be 12 weeks.
HPV; cervical carcinoma; wart; death; vaccines
The current study deals with the effect of a dietary flavanoid quercetin on fibrotic lung tissue in rats. Bleomycin was administered by single intratracheal instillation to Wistar rats to induce lung fibrosis. The pathologies associated with this included significantly reduced antioxidant capacity, ultimately leading to protracted inflammation of the lung tissue. The hallmark of this induced fibrosis condition was an excessive collagen deposition in peribronchial and perialveolar regions of the lung. Oral quercetin treatment over a period of twenty days resulted in significant reversal of the pathologies. The antioxidant defense in lung tissue was revived. Moreover, activity of the collagenase MMP-7, which was high in fibrotic tissue, was seen restored after quercetin administration. Trichome staining of lung tissue sections showed high collagen deposition in fibrotic rats, which may be a direct result of increased mobilization of collagen by MMP-7. This was appreciably reduced in quercetin treated animals. These results point towards an important protective role of quercetin against idiopathic lung fibrosis, which remains a widely prevalent yet incurable condition in the present times.
Meningococcal meningitis is caused by Neisseria meningitidis, a gram-negative, aerobic, encapsulated diplococcus. Meningococci are divided into numerous serogroups based on the composition of their capsular polysaccharide (Ps) antigens. At least 13 serogroups have been described: A, B, C, D, 29E, H, I, K, L, W-135, X, Y and Z. Out of these 13, six (A, B, C, W135, X and Y) can cause epidemics. The incubation period averages 3–4 d (range 1–10 d), which is the period of communicability. Bacteria can be found for 2–4 d in the nose and pharynx, and for up to 24 h after starting antibiotics. N. meningitidis is a leading cause of meningitis worldwide and a significant public health problem and dreaded disease in most countries. Morbidity and mortality rates from the disease remain high. Apart from epidemics, at least 1.2 million cases of bacterial meningitis are estimated to occur every year, 135,000 of which are fatal – of these, ~500,000 and ~50,000 respectively are caused by meningococci. Many outbreaks of meningococcal meningitis have been documented, with major outbreaks mainly seen in large cities of northern, western and eastern India like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and northeastern states. In 2011, 245 people died in India, the vast majority (179) in West Bengal, while 467 and 341 people in 2009 and 2010 respectively died of this disease. The meningococcal conjugate vaccines (MCV) are preferred for reasons of immunogenicity and persistence of immunity but are unavailable in India. Only the quadrivalent and bivalent meningococcal Ps vaccines (MPV) are available in India. The quadrivalent MPV is preferred for Haj pilgrims, international travelers and students in that it provides protection against emerging W-135 and Y disease in these areas. A single-dose 0.5mL injection is recommended.
meningitis; disease; morbidity; mortality; vaccines
Tetanus is caused by a neurotoxin produced by Clostridium tetani (C. tetani), a spore-forming bacterium. Infection begins when tetanus spores are introduced into damaged tissue. Tetanus is characterized by muscle rigidity and painful muscle spasms caused by tetanus toxin’s blockade of inhibitory neurons that normally oppose and modulate the action of excitatory motor neurons. Maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) are caused by unhygienic methods of delivery, abortion, or umbilical-cord care. Maternal and neonatal tetanus are both forms of generalized tetanus and have similar clinical courses. About 90% of neonates with tetanus develop symptoms in the first 3–14 d of life, mostly on days 6–8, distinguishing neonatal tetanus from other causes of neonatal mortality which typically occur during the first two days of life. Overall case fatality rates for patients admitted to the hospital with neonatal tetanus in developing countries are 8–50%, while the fatality rate can be as high as 100% without hospital care. Tetanus toxoid (TT) vaccination of pregnant women to prevent neonatal tetanus was included in WHO’s Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) a few years after its inception in 1974. In 2000, WHO, UNICEF, and UNFPA formed a partnership to relaunch efforts toward this goal, adding the elimination of maternal tetanus as a program objective, and setting a new target date of 2005. By February 2007, 40 countries had implemented tetanus vaccination campaigns in high-risk areas, targeting more than 94 million women, and protecting more than 70 million subjects with at least two doses of TT. In 2011, 653 NT cases were reported in India compared with 9313 in 1990. As of February 2012, 25 countries and 15 States and Union Territories of India, all of Ethiopia except Somaliland, and almost 29 of 34 provinces in Indonesia have been validated to have eliminated MNT.
elimination; maternal; neonatal; tetanus; vaccine
Streptococcus pneumoniae, or “pneumococcus,” causes pneumonia and infections of the brain and blood that are responsible for significant mortality in children under five years as well as in the elderly. Pneumococcal diseases are a major public health problem worldwide. S. pneumoniae is responsible for 15–50% of all episodes of community-acquired pneumonia, 30–50% of all cases of acute otitis media, and a significant proportion of bacterial meningitis and bacteremia. S. pneumoniae kills at least one million children under the age of five every year, which is more than malaria, AIDS and measles combined. More than 70% of the deaths are in developing countries. In 2007, pneumococcal pneumonia was the leading infectious killer of children worldwide. Perhaps more importantly, pneumonia remains the leading killer of children in India. A recent UNICEF publication estimated that 410,000 children under age 5 y die of pneumonia each year in India, and recent data shows that an estimated 25% of all child deaths in India are due to pneumonia. The fact that this high burden of pneumonia has remained undiminished in India in spite of economic growth and decline in child mortality due to other diseases is a reminder of the importance of tackling pneumonia head-on with dedicated resources. The burden of pneumococcal meningitis, which constitutes about half of all childhood meningitis cases in most settings and a greater proportion of meningitis deaths, makes it difficult to avoid the conclusion that the pneumococcus is responsible for 1 million child deaths each year. Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization (GAVI) has offered to supply PCV at a cost of 0.15–0.30 USD/dose to India for inclusion in the national immunization schedule and commits to extending this support until the year 2015. Pneumococcal vaccination in not recommended in children aged 5 and above.
Streptococcus pneumonia; mortality; otitis media; pneumonia; vaccines
Hepatitis A is an acute, usually self-limiting infection of the liver caused by a virus known as hepatitis A virus (HAV). Humans are the only reservoir of the virus; transmission occurs primarily through the fecal-oral route and is closely associated with poor sanitary conditions. The virus has a worldwide distribution and causes about 1.5 million cases of clinical hepatitis each year. The risk of developing symptomatic illness following HAV infection is directly correlated with age. As many 85% of children below 2 y and 50% of those between 2–5 y infected with HAV are anicteric, and among older children and adults, infection usually causes clinical disease, with jaundice occurring in more than 70% of cases. The infection is usually self-limiting with occasional fulminant hepatic failure and mortality. In most developing countries in Asia and Africa, hepatitis A is highly endemic such that a large proportion of the population acquires immunity through asymptomatic infection early in life. HAV is endemic in India; most of the population is infected asymptomatically in early childhood with life-long immunity. Several outbreaks of hepatitis A in various parts of India have been recorded in the past decade such that anti-HAV positivity varied from 26 to 85%. Almost 50% of children of ages 1–5 y were found to be susceptible to HAV. Any one of the licensed vaccines may be used since all have nearly similar efficacy and safety profiles (except for post-exposure prophylaxis / immunocompromised patients, where only inactivated vaccines may be used). Two doses 6 mo apart are recommended for all vaccines. All Hepatitis A vaccines are licensed for use in children aged 1 y or older. However in the Indian scenario, it is preferable to administer the vaccines at age 18 mo or more when maternal antibodies have completely declined. Vaccination at this age is preferable to later since it is easier to integrate with the existing schedule, protects those who have no antibodies, and protects children by the time they attend day care. In India the vaccine against hepatitis A is available for the people who can afford it, but the government of India should give this vaccine as a priority in the national immunization schedule.
hepatitis A virus; immunity; jaundice; outbreak; vaccines