MANGALDAI, March 4 � The new five-in-one vaccine called �Pentavalent� under the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) sponsored by the Government of India with the assistance of the Unicef was launched in Darrang district along with the rest of the districts in the State.
The vaccine which is going to protect infants below one year of age from five deadly diseases � Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hepatitis B and Haemophilus Influenza type b (Hib), was ceremonially launched in a public function organised by the Additional Chief Medical and Health Office, Darrang at the Youth Club here. Additional Deputy Commissioner, Darrang (Health) Banashree Nath, while attending the function as the chief guest, inaugurated the programme with lighting of the ceremonial lamp.
In her inaugural speech, she said the vaccine is very much expensive and the rich parents could avail it for their children in private doctors� chambers against payment, but with the introduction of this programme under which the vaccination will be done free of cost, the poorest of the poor parents will be able to avail the benefit for their children. She also appealed to the health staff, especially those engaged in the cold chain system, to be careful for minimising the wastage of the costly medicine.
Speaking on the occasion as an appointed speaker, the district immunization officer, Darrang, Dr AK Dhing said the first month the programme will cover 1,733 children below one year of age in the district with the increase in number in the subsequent months. The programme is expected to reduce the infant mortality rate (IMR) in the State by four per cent, he added. Earlier, Dr Manjula Medhi, Additional Chief Medical and Health Officer, Darrang, while stating the objectives of the vaccination programme asked for cooperation from everyone to make it a grand success in the district.