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Dr Anil Agarwal, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.

“Scaling up of pentavalent vaccines will save thousands of lives in Rajasthan because this will give a regional advantage Haemophilus influenzae type b bacterium, which is causing meningitis in many children and also pneumonia. So this will not only reduce mortality, but also morbidity, preventing many families from falling below the poverty line.

“In Rajasthan we are using multiple strategies to reach every child with the pentavalent vaccine. We are supporting the government of Rajasthan in strengthening the cold chain points. In the two-and-a-half months before the launch all 2,300 cold chain points, all the district and regional level cold chain points, will be visited by a team of professionals. They will assess the situation and at the same time make corrective actions. They will also carry out on-site training on three aspects: the open vial policy; pentavalent vaccines; and how to arrange vaccines in ILR (Ice-Lined Refrigerators).

“My dream is to have a modern cold chain points, delivering very high quality up to the very last point in the remote hamlets of Rajasthan, because it is not only delivering the vaccine that is important but also the quality. This health system strengthening project is giving us the extra opportunity to fulfill that dream. It is going to come true, I’m sure of it.“

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Photo: Gavi/ Oscar Seijkens. 

Dr Anil is a Health Specialist for UNICEF

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