Friday, 30 May 2008

Vaccinations - A Study

Arjun was born in Denmark and travelled to India and then relocated to Sweden.
I was greatly confused about his vaccination schedules. And I have been receiving questions from my friends, who are new mothers, whose children are born abroad, and travelling/relocating to India or the other way, about the same. I have been questioned by a fellow traveller in the flight also about this. I have discussed quite a lot with doctors in India, Denmark and Sweden and also read about this in the web and I capture my learnings here for the betterment of fellow mothers and also my future reference.

The vaccinations are more or less similar in India, Sweden and Denmark except that there are some extra ones in India. Also the age at which they vaccinate in India is different.

Let me state the abbreviations the doctors use.

D - diphtheria
P - wooping cough
T - Tetanus
OPV/IPV - Oral Polio Vaccine / injectable Polio Vaccine
Hib - Influenza Type B(Known as meningitis in the Europe, which is actually the name of the disease)
MMR - Mums, Measels, Rubella
Hep B - Hepatitis B

A child born in India is given BCG at birth.This is a vaccination against tuberculosis, commonly known T.B and also she is given the first dosage of hep B vaccination at 2 weeks.

In India, there are two types of injections available.
Easy four and Easy five.

Easy four: DPT+Hib
Easy five: DPT+Hib+Hep B

Its so easy that one need not receive too many pricks, but just one prick but all the four/five vaccines. In our childhood, it was known as 'Triple Antigen-Muthaduppu oosi' which was DPT.

Ideally a kid must receive three doses of DPT, Hep B and Hib,by one year.

So a kid that received BCG and Hep B respectively at birth and 2 weeks, will receive one easy five when 45days old, one more easy five at 75 days and one easy four at 105days old, which makes 3 doses of DPT, Hep B and Hib. And each vaccination is also associated with a OPV.Now a days they recommend one dosage of IPV atleast.The doctors make sure each vaccine is given at one month interval at the least.

The same scenario is handled a bit differently in Denmark and Sweden.They dont give the vaccinations at such young age.The first vaccine itself start when the child becomes three months old. In Denmark they claim that there is no Hep B virus and so there is no vaccination for that. But they dont have this easy four, easy five concepts. They prick twice, once for DPT+IPV and once for Hib, I mean meningitis.
And if you want to order Hep B yourself, then one more prick. And there is no BCG vaccine also.You need to order it yourself, if you want. And this DPT+IPV,Hib are repeated at 6 months and 1 year.
In Sweden also the vaccinations are given at 3 months, 6 months and one year but sweet people, just one prick for all the six, DPT+IPV+Hib+Hep B.
In Sweden, they also have BCG vaccine at 6 months old.

Now coming to MMR, in India they recommend a vaccination only for 'measels' at 9 months and a MMR vaccine at 15 months. But in Denmark and Sweden, they give only MMR at 18 months.

Say a child is travelling to India for a vacation before she is given MMR and she is older than 9 months, then its better she gets a measles vaccine as soon as she lands in India.

There are optional vaccinations for chicken pox at one year, typhoid and Hep A at 2 years in India.

So depending on where are you at what age, we must plan the vaccinations for our children.

I would like to add two things.
A reiteration that Hib and meningitis are one and the same. Why I reiterate, is because a friend of mine relocated from India to UK, when her son was one year old, that means he received 3 doses of Hib already, did not know they are the same, ended up giving three more doses of meningitis in UK.Ideally repeating the vaccine must not cause any issue, however it costs our kids one more prick and lots of pain.

And since all the three doses of DPT+OPV are given at so young age for Indian children, its recommended that they receive a DPT booster dose(triple antigen-muthaduppu oosi)+OPV at 18months and another booster of DPT at 5 years. But in Denmark and Sweden they give the DPT booster at 5years, as the children have received the third DPT+IPV dose itself at 1 year. Now, a case, which ideally triggered me to write this post, a friend of mine who is living in Denmark, who may probably relocate to India, who has a one year old son, she asked me about what all vaccinations she would have to give in India.
Since her son has received the third DPT dose itself at one year unlike kids in India who would receive the third dose when 105 days old, she has to discuss about whether to give a booster at 18 months or the booster is enough at 5 years old itself.


Incidentally or coincidentally, I happened to have few discussions and readings about this of late. Just capturing the learnings here.

Its defined as the following.
'An acute contagious disease caused by herpes varicella zoster virus; causes a rash of vesicles on the face and body'.

I live in Sweden and this HVZ virus seems quite common here. I was alarmed when our colleague Naveen and his 7 months old daughter got infected. Subsequently we travelled to India and I discussed with two paediatricians about giving the vaccination to Arjun. One of them practicing in a town nearer to my native village, 17 years of experience in Paediatrics,did not recommend the vaccine. The reason he stated was, "all my patients are from rural area and very poor, chicken pox vaccine is expensive(1600INR), this disease is not a dangerous one, it may occur just once in a lifetime, so I dont say this is a mandatory one". The other paediatrician is in Chennai and he instantly said, "go for it, as you say this virus is common in Sweden".

My friend Sushila stated, she read in a weekly that cleanliness can prevent this. But I dont agree. As per what I know, this virus can quickly spread via the air. If an infected person sneezes or coughs, and the one who gets exposed to it can get infected.

Ideally the vaccination must prevent this disease. But, my friend Sireesha's 2 years old son has got infected beyond being vaccinated. Her doctor answered her, "one in 100 children may get it, inspite of the vaccination". So, vaccination does not guarentee you 100%. And noramlly once someone gets infected by this virus, their body develops antibodies and hence becomes immune to the virus for lifetime. But I read in the web that some may get it more than once too.

And in India, we associate this with 'Goddes Amman', and all what we do in the name of God, actually prevents the virus to spread out and also decreses the intensity of the disease.
1.We restrict the infected one at home, we dont let visitors.
2.Neem leaves bed
3.Tender coconut drink
4.Once the boils start healing,give bath with turmeric water.

I feel the kids must get the vaccination and also we must practice cleanliness and we may prevent this.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

No Name Yet - Part 7

I moved to Denmark with my husband, apparently there were very less Indians at that time. Seema was the first one whom I personally know.
She was my husband's colleague's wife.
I have an admiration for her lovely hair, clean looks and great collection of attires.We started with dining at each other's house and watching each other's wedding DVDs. She was then newly married like me. After watching her DVD, I developed great respect towards her mother. She and her husband joined us for a trip to our dream destination Switzerland.

We all were looking for jobs in Denmark. During one of our tea time chats, she mentioned Freescale has an office in the city where we lived, which I did not know until then. Then I applied with them and infact joined them as I found it to be best among the few offers that I could find there. It was a big break for me and I felt lucky to have known her at that time, though this freescale stuff did not work out that good later!

She was one of the first few visitors at the hospital when I delivered Arjun and it was so thoughtful of her to bring some food for my mom and husband. They relished it after a tiring overnight stay at the hospital.

I am generally very good at making and maintaining friends and so is she, but somehow we both did not become great friends, I actually thought we would, as everything between us started very well. However, wherever we met at get togethers, we have smiled and waved and chit chatted.I was truly happy when she could start her career after a long wait in Denmark, which she has been badly longing for.

I come up with some more interesting ladies whom I met in Denmark. Keep wathcing this space.

(To be continued)

Thursday, 22 May 2008

No Name Yet - Part 6

From the time I started to write this series, I have been waiting for this time, to write about the people I feel,
'Blessed with'

During my tenure in Sasken, Bangalore, I gained few important people in my life.
This little piece of writing goes as a dedication to them, they deserve much more though.

We joined Sasken on the same day. We sat next to each other in the induction, had lunch together, we did not realise we were going to make a beautiful relationship, A relationship that does not expect anything from each other, A relationship which will last lifetime, A relationship which will be filled with hearty laughs, speechless tears...
She is one of the best people I have come across in life. How can one think good for all the people around? She can!
She is the most intelligent I know, too sincere in her work.
She is very irregular in writing mails, replying mails, making phone calls etc. But I for sure know, I hold a very special place in her heart, Afterall, if she has chosen my name to be her password. I left Sasken around 3 years ago and she still remains there. She may have got acquaintances.But I am her only friend and I am very proud about that.She says, 'A friend at work is too important, I miss you Priya'. Its selfish of me, wanting to hear this 'I miss you', especially from her.
I miss you too Pavani, you are a great friend!

I met her also on the first day in Sasken, I asked her about the bus route.
We smiled at each other in the subsequent days, went for coffee times...and that is how we became friends. The first thing that attracted me about her was, the way she writes emails. Normally mails from quality team asking for metrics and time sheet filling used to be so boring. But this person knows how to even make those bugging mails interesting. She has amazing quizzing skills, a good singer and her language is awsome. She is very straight forward, even more than the required extent, that she appears rude to many people. Our common colleagues have asked me, "how could you keep close to her?". To me, she is like that and I like her that way!
Whichever company I am in, my coffee time would surely remind me of her and I am sure she will feel the same. We have enjoyable gChat sessions and thats how we are in touch for years now.

Now about some little Angels.
Padma, Anitha, Sonnia, Uma and Raji.
I have many a times felt, God has sent these little Angels to my life. I shared an accomadation with these girls for sometime. They are four years younger to me, but lot matured than me.
I have learnt a lot from them.
Right from silly little things like how to fine chop onions to great lessons in life like, what it means togetherness-one thing that was missing in my earlier stays, what it means not to hurt the people around us, what it means caring for one another...
It does not mean we never had differece of opinions or fights, but we have made up much earlier, quicker, which made our relationship so strong.

This word means lotus, but to me this word means 'unconditional affection'.
She has quite many times made me guilty, if I am worth all what she has done for me?
She has gone through lots in life, but I used to wonder how could she keep smiling and energetic amidst all these?
She has a passion for craft work and I love the perfection in it.

Whenever I knead the dough for chapathi, I think of her with thanks, she has taught me that...She is such a great dancer and a wonderful cook.

She was so dear darling to all of us. Later in life, we happened to sit in two different branches of the same company across continents. I did not have any friends in my office, as I happened to be the only Indian in the whole office, only lady in the technical team. But Sonnia has wiped off my loneliness with her lovely chat session through IM.

She was a kiddo in our house. A very sensitive but caring person.She has got a perfect nose and lovely hair.She has been so sincere in her love life and she is Blessed with a peaceful wedding with her beloved.

I have always looked upto Raji for her cool head and wide interest towards movies and sports.

All I said about these five little brats are just too less for what I feel for them. They are very very special to me!And yes, each of them made me felt very special to them at many instances.

(To be continued)

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

"என்ன உன் synapse ல update இல்ல??" இப்டி கேட்டு என்னை புளங்காகிதம் அடைய வெச்ச பத்மா, சுபாஷினி, கவிதா இவங்க மூணு பேருக்கும் இந்த பதிவு நன்றியுடன் dedicate செய்ய படுகிறது.
அது என்னன்னா இதுக்கு அப்பாவும் புள்ளை யும் தான் காரணம்.
காலை நேரத்துல நான் கம்ப்யூட்டர் ல உக்காந்தா புள்ளைக்கு புடிக்கலை... இருக்குற பத்து பல்லை வெச்சு நல்லா கடிச்சு விட்டுடுறான். ஆ ஊ னு கத்தி கலாட்டா பண்ணுறான்.....தலைய எதுலயாச்சும் மோதிக்கிட்டு அழுவுறான்....எப்போவும் அவன் கூடவே வெளாடனுமாம். IPL ஆரம்பிச்சதுலேர்ந்து சாயுங்காலம் அப்பா ஆபீஸ் ல இருந்து வந்தோன shoes கூட கழட்டாம மேட்ச் பாக்க உக்காந்துடுராரு. புள்ளை மதியானம் தூங்குறப்போ நான் துணி மடித்தல், கீரை ஆய்தல்,இல்லன்னா தூங்குதல் முதலான வேலைகளில் busyya இருக்குறேன். அதுனால synapse ல நெறையா posts இன்னும் drafts stage ல இருக்கு. ஆனா முக்யமான மூணு பேரு கேட்டதுனால அவசரமாஒரு வெட்டி போஸ்ட்.

IPL ல MI டீம் ல சச்சின் இருக்கதுனால எங்க ஆளு MI டீம் க்கு சப்போர்ட். நான் ஊரு மேல உள்ள பாசத்துல கொஞ்சம், Dhoni இருக்கதுனால நெறைய, CSK க்கு சப்போர்ட். சிந்து பைரவி படத்துல சிவகுமார் சங்கீதம் பத்தி பேசினா, சுலக்ஷ்னா மாடில வடாம் காயுது, கொல்ல பக்கம் துணி காயுது னு யோசிச்சுட்டு இருப்பாங்களே ...அந்த மாதிரி போன சண்டே lund club க்கும், copenhagen club க்கும் நடந்த கிரிக்கெட் மேட்ச் ல எங்க ஆளு நாப்பத்து ஏழு runs, ஒரு விக்கெட் எடுத்து man of the match.....ஆனா எனக்கு கிரிக்கெட் ல இருக்குற நுணுக்கங்கள் அவ்ளோ ஏன் நெறைய players பேரு கூட செரியா தெரியாது...இருந்தாலும் ஏதோ IPL னு ஒன்னு நடக்குது எல்லாரும் பாக்குறாங்க, so நம்மளும் ஒரு டீம் கு சப்போர்ட் பண்ணலாம் னு பண்ணிட்டு இருக்கேன்.

போன wednesday, CSK vs MI match ல Dhoni win பண்ணனும் னு pray பண்ணேன். அது ஊத்திகிச்சு .....அதும் பெரிய அளவுல ஊத்திகுச்சு... எங்க ஆளோட friend ஒருத்தர், அவரும் CSK க்கு சப்போர்ட்....அவர் சொல்லுறாரு...'குருவி படத்த விட பெரிய ஊத்தல்' னு......சுபாஷினி கூட சொன்னா...குருவி சகிக்கலை, காக்கா மாறி இருக்குன்னு.....நான் இன்னும் பாக்கலை... நான் நேபாளி பாத்தேன். recent ஆ பாத்த படங்கள் ல எனக்கு இந்த படம் பிடிச்சுது......ஆனா violence overdose. அப்றோம் 'அறை எண் முன்னூத்தி அஞ்சில் கடவுள்´' பாத்தேன். இந்த டைரக்டர் சிம்பு தேவனோட முதல் படம் 'இம்சை அரசன்' விட எனக்கு இந்த படம் பெட்டேர் னு தோணிச்சு...நெறைய பேருக்கு இம்சை அரசன் ரொம்ப பிடிக்கும், ஆனா எனக்கு என்னமோ அந்த படத்துல வர்ற அக்கா மாலா, கப்சி, இந்த ஜோக் லம் சகிக்கலை......அது செம மொக்கை படம் னு எனக்கு தோணும். அர்ஜுன் அப்பா கிட்ட இம்சை அரசன் விட 'அறை எண்' better னு சொன்னா, படம் ஒண்ணும் பெரிசா ஓடலையே?? னு சொன்னாரு. ஆனா படத்துக்கு ரொம்ப செலவு பண்ண மாறி தெரியலை....போட்ட காசு க்கு மேல கண்டிப்பா தேத்தி இருப்பாங்கன்னு நெனைக்கிறேன். அவர் ஒரு வடிவேலு fan. எங்க ரெண்டு பேருக்கும் ரொம்ப stressed ஆ தோணுற சமயத்துல nice ஆ 'இம்சை அரசன் போட்டு பாக்கலாமா ?' னு bit ஐ போடுவாரு. 'அய்யா சாமி ஆளை விடுங்க, இந்த மாறி சமயத்துக்குன்னு தான் இருக்கவே இருக்கு...கண்ட நாள் முதல் படம், அது போடுங்க ன்னு ரெண்டு பெரும் உக்காந்துடுவோம். இப்டி அடிக்கடி உக்காந்தே பத்து பதினஞ்சு தடவ அந்த படத்த பாத்துட்டோம். நாங்க ரொம்ப ரொம்ப ரசிச்சு பாத்த 'light romantic comedy' அது.....கண்ட நாள் முதலாய் னு யுவனோட title song ல ஆரம்பிச்சு கிளைமாக்ஸ் வரைக்கும் அலுக்காத ஒரு படம்.
இந்த பட டைரக்டர் ஓட next movie (கண்ணாமூச்சி ஏனடா) க்கும் இதே expectation ல உக்காந்து செம upset.

recent ஆ நான் பாத்து ரொம்ப excite ஆன ஒரு matter kangaroo. இது வரைக்கும் சினிமா ல தான் kangaroo பாத்து இருக்கேன். இப்போ one week ஆ பக்கத்துல உள்ள பார்க் ல summer க்காக ஒரு நாலஞ்சு kangaroo வந்துருக்கு....ரொம்ப soft ஆ இருக்கு....அழகா இருக்கு.....அதோட வயித்துக்குள்ள இருந்து zip தொறந்து வர்ற மாறி அதோட குட்டி எட்டி எட்டி பாக்குறது, அம்மா kangaroo குட்டி க்கு இலகுவா இருக்குறதுக்காக குனிஞ்சு புல்லு மேயுறதும் அப்போ அந்த குட்டி யும் தலைய நீட்டி புல்லு மேயுறதும் சாப்பிட்டு முடிச்சோன அம்மா வயிற்று பைக்குள்ள போயிடுச்சுன்னா அதுக்கு அப்றோம் அங்க ஒரு பை யோ இல்ல அதுக்குள்ள ஒரு குட்டியோ இருக்குறதுக்கான அடையாளமே தெரியாம போயடுறதும், அம்மா kangaroo ரெண்டு காலால தாவி தாவி மனுஷன் நடக்குறது மாறி போறதும் நாள் முழுக்க பாத்துட்டே இருக்கலாம்.....ஆனா ஒண்ணு....நான் அர்ஜுன் ஐ pram ல கூட்டிட்டு போவேன் ல.....'நான் லாம் என் குட்டி ய மடிலையே தூக்கிட்டு அலையுறேன், உனக்கு pram வேண்டி கெடக்கு....?' அப்டின்னு என்னை கேவலமா பாக்கும் அந்த kangaroo....

என் பையன் கத்த ஆரம்புசுட்டான்...இவ்ளோ நேரம் என்னை கம்ப்யூட்டர் ல உக்கார விட்டதுக்கே அவனுக்கு பெரிய தேங்க்ஸ் சொல்லணும்....