Photo: Children from Baluwagada village of Kailali. A lot of children here grow up without being immunized against diseases. (Pushparaj Joshi/Republica)
KAILALI, Sept 23: A lot of children in the rural parts of Kailali grow up without receiving basic vaccines. According to the local representatives, absence of clinics in the rural villages has hit vaccination campaigns. Similarly, health workers and volunteers escape their job as they need to walk for days to reach out to different destinations. One such village is Baluwagada of Chure Rural Municipality - 4.
“It is not easy for volunteers or health workers to land in the villages and vaccinate children. It needs days of walk and they have to carry vaccine carriers as well,” noted Yogendra Deuba, principal of Suryamukhi Basic School of Baluwagada. “We don’t have clinics in the rural villages to store the vaccines,” he added.
Children below five years of age in Nepal are given Bacille Calmette – Guerin (BCG), Diphtheria Pertussis Tetanus (DPT), hepatitis B and polio among other important vaccines. If health centers are not nearby and if door to door visits by the campaigners are also missing, parents take their children to clinics in the neighboring villages to immunize them. Even in Kailali, parents are found to do so. But not all of them follow this, according to Deuba. The lack of vaccines at their own village means a number of children growing up without being immunized against several diseases, he warns.
“Children have to be vaccinated on time, sooner or later makes no sense. But here there are plenty of villages which lack clinics to avail this service. Not all parents are that keen to take their kids elsewhere for the purpose,” Deuba said. “Here in Baluwagada there are around three dozes of kids below 15 months. And they are simply deprived of vaccines.”
Baluwagada village is one day’s walk from the ward office. Even otherwise, locals needing medical help often go to Gauriganga village to meet doctors. “We don’t have a reliable health center in our own place. It’s very pathetic,” said Deuba.
According to a health volunteer Pabitradevi Chand, there are around 80 children in Baluwagada and 34 of them need vaccines. “It’s a sad story. A lot of children are missed out, vaccination campaigns hardly become successful,” she said.
Meanwhile, Bikram Bohora, chief of the health department of the rural municipality stated that there will be clinics in the villages soon. “We have been gearing up for that,” he said.