Guj: SAANS campaign launched to curb pneumonia deaths in kids
    Gandhinagar, Nov 16 (PTI) Union Minister for Health
and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan on Saturday launched 'SAANS',
a campaign aimed at reducing child mortality due to pneumonia,
which contributes to around 15 per cent of deaths annually of
children under the age of five.
    SAANS, short for 'Social Awareness and Action to
Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully' was launched by the Union
Health Ministry to mobilise people to protect children from
pneumonia, and train health personnel and other stakeholders
to provide prioritised treatment to control the disease.
    He was here to inaugurate the the 6thNational Summit
on Good, Replicable Practices and Innovations.
    As per HMIS data, under five mortality rate in the
country is 37 per 1000 live births, of which 5.3 deaths are
caused due to pneumonia.
    The government aims to achieve a target of reducing
pneumonia deaths among children to less than three per 1000
live births by 2025, a senior health department official said.
    The HMIS data for 2018-19 ranked Gujarat 2ndamong 37
states and union territories in the number of child deaths due
to pneumonia, after Madhya Pradesh.
    The state ranked 5thin infant mortality due to
    Under the campaign, a child suffering from pneumonia
can be treated with pre-referral dose of anti-biotic
amoxicillin by ASHA workers, and health and wellness centres
can use pulse oximeter (device to monitor oxygen saturation)
to identify low oxygen levels in the blood of a child, and if
required, treat him by use of oxygen cylinders.
    A mass awareness campaign will also be launched about
the effective solutions for pneumonia prevention like breast
feeding, age appropriate complementary feeding, immunisation,
good quality air etc, the official said.
    A web portal for home-based child care was launched at
the event, which would have resource materials (training
materials, IEC videos, audios, banners, posters etc) for the
home visits of ASHA workers.
    Talking to reporters, the Union minister said the
three-day event will help share best practices in different
projects from different states.
    "We want to ensure that not a single child is affected
due to vaccine preventable diseases. The child should be given
all vaccines, which are at least being provided free of cost
under universal immunisation programme," the minister said.
    "Pregnant mothers should not fall prey to preventable
deaths. Our maternal, infant and under 5-child mortality rates
should fall more rapidly," Harsh Vardhan said.
    "We would like the country to become more competent in
the fight against malaria by 2022. By 2025, we should be able
to eliminate TB from the country," he added.
    He asked states to organise such conferences to share
knowledge within their districts. PTI KA

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)