PROTECTION FROM FATAL DISEASES
Our parents love us very much. Our parents are constantly concerned about our health and safety. They take many steps to protect us. These steps range from child-proof door latches to child safety seats. In the same way, vaccines work to safeguard children from illnesses and death caused by infectious diseases. Vaccines protect children by preparing their bodies to fight serious and deadly diseases. Vaccines not only keep a child healthy, they help all children by stumping out serious childhood diseases.
WHAT IS A VACCINE…? When germs enter our body, they produce antigens to make us ill. Our body’s immune system produces antibodies to fight the antigens. Sometimes the germs of diseases or pathogens are very powerful. Immune system cannot fight them. To control such diseases vaccines are given. Vaccines contain weakened or killed pathogens. These pathogens cannot produce the symptoms of the disease, but they prepare our body’s immune system to produce powerful antibodies. These antibodies protect us if we are exposed to the disease in the future. THE PROCESS OF GIVING VACCINE TO A HEALTHY PERSON IS CALLED VACCINATION.
TARGETED DISEASES ( TUBERCULOSIS ). Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death in the world from a bacterial infectious disease. Its pathogen may attack on lungs, bones, brain, etc. Rapid loss of weight, prolonged fever and cough can be the symptoms of TB.
TETANUS. Is also called “ lockjaw “. It can lead to severe muscle spasm and death. The pathogen of tetanus is present in faeces of horses and in rust of iron. Be careful of rusting iron nails!
DIPHTHERIA. Is a disease that attacks the throat and heart. It can lead to the heart failure and death.
WHOOPING COUGH. Causes severe coughing that makes it hard to breathe eat and drink. It can lead to pneumonia, convulsions, brain damage and death.
POLIO. Is a serious disease. It can cause muscle pain and paralysis of one or both legs or arms. It may also paralyze the muscles used to breathe and swallow. It can lead to death.
MEASLES. Causes fever, small red spots that cover the whole body, cough, runny nose and waterly eyes. It can also cause ear infections and pneumonia. Measles can also lead to more serious problems, such as brain swelling and even death.
HEPATITIS. Is an infection of the liver that can lead to liver cancer and death. There are three types of Hepatitis, i.e. Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Hepatitis B and C are more dangerous than Hepatitis A.
HAEMOPHILUS INFLUENZA. Type B, is a leading cause of serious illness in children. It can lead to meningitis, pneumonia and a severe throat infection that can cause choking.
THE EXPANDED PROGRAM IN IMMUNIZATION (EPI) IN PAKISTAN. The expanded program on immunization (EPI) was launched in Pakistan in 1978. It aims at protecting children by immunizing children of the age 0-11 months against tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis), measles, and tetanus.
IMPORTANCE OF VACCINES. Why immunize our children? Sometimes our parents are confused by the messages in newspapers, on radio and TV. First, we are assured that, thanks to vaccines, some diseases like smallpox are almost gone from our country. Other diseases like polio and measles are near to end due to vaccines. It is very important to keep our children immunizing. Even if there are only a few cases of disease today, still we need vaccination against these diseases. If we don’t have vaccination against these diseases, more and more people will be infected. These people will spread diseases to others. Soon we will undo the progress we have made over the years.
WE DON’T VACCINATE US TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN. WE ALSO VACCINATE TO PROTECT OUR FUTURE, I.E. OUR GRANDCHILDREN AND THEIR GRANDCHILDREN.