Dr. Samir Saha, Head of the Department of Microbiology at Dhaka Shishu Hospital and Executive Director of Child Health Research Foundation in Bangladesh commented, “With the introduction of Hib vaccine, we are now one step forward meeting the MDG-4.”
He said, “The situation with Hib disease in Bangladesh is very grave, since drug-resistant strains are increasing, and to treat infection doctors must use expensive drugs, which are not readily available in most hospitals. This vaccine will prevent needless suffering, disability, and death.”
Dr. Saha coauthored a case-control study showing that routine immunisation of infants with Hib vaccine prevents one third of serious pneumonia cases and more than 80% of probable bacterial meningitis cases in Bangladesh.
Dr Saha tried to reveal looking back that the vaccine was in the market for the last 18 years. But now Bangladesh is launching Hib vaccine in its routine immunisation programme. Whereas there were enough evidence and country parameters to introduce the vaccine, there was unexpected delay in prioritising the need. Now it is time to think how the limited resources can be utilised amidst lots of problems.
Dr Saha underscored that the government of Bangladesh should encourage and help in capacity building of the local institutes to have appropriate research for producing evidence that will be internationally acceptable. This will in time help to take proper decision according to the need of the country.
The most exciting news of the time is — a new vaccine is coming soon to prevent another greatest killer Pneumonia. We made enough delay to get Hib vaccine; if the upcoming next vaccine is also delayed, this will be another misfortune of the history.
We need get prepared for that collecting enough evidence based information in favour of the country. He opined that this is work of a multi-disciplinary group in appropriate time.
Dr Saha said, “Now we need monitoring the impact of Hib vaccine in the routine immunisation. Calculating the cost of the vaccine is not enough, at the same time, we have to calculate the cost-effectiveness of the vaccine in the way it saves lives, morbidity and most importantly the way it impacts through indirect ways.”
Source: The Daily Star, January 17, 2008