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Deaths of children — big deal in hospitals but not in villages

This is World Immunisation Week. There have been a couple of good stories on the terrible death toll among children in India but there is no scandal, no outcry. According to a very strong Press Trust of India piece, there is a death from pneumonia somewhere in the world every 20 seconds. Too many of these deaths are in India: fifty percent according to a very hard-hitting piece on CNN-IBN. Yet, where is the outcry? India is falling behind countries such as Ghana and Rwanda in introducing life-saving vaccines but there are no riots in the streets and too few pieces like these. The CM of West Bengal must wonder why tragic child deaths in her hospitals seem to register so much more firmly in the public consciousness than the continuing toll of children dying of preventable pneumonia. (Just to be clear about our interests: colleagues from Tramor — a Health Issues India partner — helped the journalists to research both of these stories as part of their work for Global Health Strategies)

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