The Gist of Kurukshetra : TOWARDS A HEALTHIER INDIA : IMMUNISING EVERY CHILD - September - 2017


(The Gist of Kurukshetra) TOWARDS A HEALTHIER INDIA : IMMUNISING EVERY CHILD - September - 2017


TOWARDS A HEALTHIER INDIA : IMMUNISING EVERY CHILD

Immunization is one of the most cost effective public health interventions and largely responsible for reduction of mortality and morbidity rates caused by vaccine .preventable diseases. The eradication of smallpox globally and the elimination of polio, yaws and maternal & neo-natal tetanus from our country are clear reminders of the power of vaccination in dealing with the scourge of communicable diseases. Vaccines are critical for India
as we are rapidly developing and urbanizing. Rapid 'growth is also associated with the movement of migrant workers within regions resulting in movement of pathogens (including resistant strains) between regions of high and low endemicity, leading to a higher risk of communicable diseases. While urbanization is one aspect, some states are predisposed towards higher prevalence of a certain communicable disease viz. Japanese Encephalitis. Focus on immunization is also part of our endeavour to ensure that we keep polio at bay and keep on pushing towards reaching out with immunization to every single child in every far flung corner of the country.

The polio-free and MNTE-free India that we celebrate today has only been possible due to vaccines and more so because of how we made sure that the vaccines were administered to the children and are now covering even the adults who need them. The success is due to our Universal Immunization Program (UIP) - a major public health intervention in the country. I am proud to say that it is one of the largest immunization programs in the world. UIP become a part of Child Survival and Safe Motherhood Programme in 1992. Since 1997, immunization activities have been an important component of the National Reproductive and Child Health Programme and are currently one of the key areas under the National Health Mission (NHM) since 2005. Under the UIP, Government of India is providing vaccination to prevent 11 vaccine preventable diseases namely Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Meningitis & Pneumonia caused by Haemophilus inf luenza type B, severe form of Childhood Tuberculosis, Polio, South East Asia Region (SEAR) of WHO has been certified Polio free
on 27th March, 2014. As a part of Polio end game strategy, Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) has been introduced across all the states of the country. Measles vaccine - Nationwide coverage of first dose of Measles was started in 1985 as part of Routine immunization (RI). 2nd dose of Measles was introduced in 2010 in 22 states immediately as part of RI and in remaining 14 states in RI after a campaign (Measles Supplementary Immunization Activity) covering nearly 12 crore children. As on date, the entire country is providing two doses measles vaccine schedule under Rio Hepatitis B vaccine - was piloted in 2002-03 and then scaled up across the country in 2010 to protect children from liver diseases such as Jaundice and Cancer.

To supplement our efforts towards reaching every child with immunization services, we conceived a special targeted intervention to reach out to all those children who have been left out of the RI drives or are partially-immunized. This is called 'Mission Indradhanush'. It is a sub part of the overall UIP of the country, designed and implemented to increase the coverage of UIP itself. It was launched on 25th December, 2014, to drive towards 90 per cent full immunization coverage of India and sustain the same by year 2020. The first phase was implemented from 7th April 2015 - World Health Day. During each phase of Mission Indradhanush, four intensified drives of 7 days each have been held every month to cover left-out and missed-out children in the high focus districts. During the three phases of Mission Indradhanush, 497 districts across 35 states/UTs were covered. During these phases, more than 2.1 crore children' were reached of which 55 lakh children were fully immunized. In addition, 55.9 lakh pregnant women were also vaccinated with Tetanus toxoid. The platform of Mission Indradhanush was also utilized for distributing 52.2 lakh ORS packets and 183.11akh Zinc tablets to children. The 4th phase of Mission Indradhanush commenced on T" February 2017 in 8 North Eastern states and in 180 districts across 18 states from 7th April in rest of the country. As on date, nearly 2.2 crore children and about 58 lakh pregnant women have been immunized. The annual rate of immunization which was earlier 1% has grown by 6.7 percent.

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