The lives of over 90,000 children below five years of age can be saved every year if the government expands its vaccination programme against pneumonia and diarrhoea, says a report by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health that was published on Friday.
Not only lives, India could also save over $1 billion (around Rs 6,470 crore) annually, the report added.
Pneumonia and diarrhoea kill the most number of children below five years of age worldwide. Of the 15 countries that were evaluated, India improved the most, with a seven-point increase in the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea score.
The 15 countries constitute 55% of the global population, but 77% of the total global deaths of young children from these diseases occur here.
In 2016, the report found that in India one child dies every two minutes of either pneumonia or diarrhoea. The impressive turnaround, the US institute said, was the result of the government’s Mission Indradhanush, a vaccination programme that was launched in December 2014.