Millennium Post

Campaign ‘Indradhanush’ to root out 7 diseases by 2020: Ministry

Worried over poor figures of kids immunization, the Union Health Ministry has launched ‘Mission Indradhanush’, which aims to cover children who are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated against seven vaccine-preventable diseases by 2020. “The diseases that will be covered under rainbow mission are diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis B,” said Rakesh Kumar, the joint secretary (RCH), while talking to Millennium Post on Friday.

The mission was launched by Health Minister JP Nadda on ‘Good Governance Day’ to mark the birth anniversary of Madan Mohan Malaviya and birthday of former ailing Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

While elaborating about the programme, Kumar said, “Four special vaccination campaigns will be conducted between January and June 2015 with intensive planning and monitoring of these campaigns. The learnings from the successful implementation of the polio programme will be applied in planning and implementation of the mission.”

“We have identified 201 high-focus districts across the country in the first phase which have nearly 50 per cent of all unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children, while 297 will be targeted for the second phase,” said Kumar, who heads reproductive & child health programme department under the ministry.

Of the 201 districts, 82 districts are in four states of UP, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and nearly 25 per cent of the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children are in these 82 districts, the health official told Millennium Post over phone.

A mission mode has been adopted to achieve target of full coverage by 2020, he said, noting that between 2009-2013, immunisation coverage has increased from 61 per cent to just 65 per cent, indicating mere 1 per cent increase in coverage every year.

On the question of fund for the immunization programme, Kumar said, “The ministry has enough funds to implement this plan successfully. The ministry will be technically supported by WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International and other donor partners, while auxiliary nurse midwives and others would continue to monitor the immunization campaign on routine basis.”
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