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% 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 6th National 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 1,000 live births by 2025, a senior health department official said.
The HMIS data for 2018-19 ranked Gujarat second in the number of child deaths due to pneumonia, after Madhya Pradesh.
The State ranked fifth in infant mortality due to pneumonia.
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, and age appropriate complementary feeding.