Health Ministry to launch Intensified Mission Indradhanush

Shillong,Aug. 1: With the aim to accelerating the full immunization coverage and provide greater focus on urban areas and other pockets of low immunization coverage, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has drawn up an aggressive action plan to achieve the target by 2018. According to the plan, States will conduct Intensified Mission Indradhanush drives for 7 working days from 7th day of every month starting from 7th October 2017 for four consecutive months excluding Sundays, holidays and Routine Immunization days. A total of 118 districts, 17 urban areas and 52 districts of North East states will be targeted under Intensified Mission Indradhanush.

Under Intensified Mission Indradhanush, greater focus will be given on urban areas which were one of the gaps of Mission Indradhanush. This will be done through mapping of all underserved population in urban areas and need-based deployment of ANMs for providing vaccination services in these areas. Mobility support to field staff for deployment to such areas in urban as well as rural areas will be provided.

Intensive monitoring and strong accountability mechanism is being established at all levels with Cabinet Secretary at national level and the Chief Secretary at state level reviewing the preparations and progress. Every district identified for Intensified Mission Indradhanush will be monitored by partners through an identified nodal person for each district. Further, emphasis will also be given on integration of Intensified Mission Indradhanush sessions into routine immunization microplans after completion of for rounds of Intensified Mission Indradhanush. The integration of these sessions will also be monitored by partners and senior government officials.

A distinctive feature of Intensified Mission Indradhanush is that greater focus is being given on convergence with other ministries/departments especially women and child development, panchayati raj, urban development, youth affairs, NCC etc. The convergence of ground level workers of various departments like ASHA, ANMs, Anganwadi workers, Zila preraks under NULM, self-help groups will be crucial for successful implementation of Intensified Mission Indradhanush.

Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) of India prevents mortality and morbidity in children and pregnant women against 12 vaccine preventable diseases. In the past it has been seen that the increase in immunization coverage had slowed down and it increased at the rate of 1% per year between 2009 and 2013. To accelerate this coverage Mission Indradhanush was envisaged and implemented since 2015 to rapidly increase the full immunization coverage to 90%.

Four phases of Mission Indradhanush have been completed in 528 districts across the country. More than 2.47 crore children and around 67 lakh pregnant women have been vaccinated under Mission Indradhanush so far. The first two phases of Mission Indradhanush led to an increase of 6.7% full immunization coverage in 1 year as compared to 1% increase in the past. This increase has been more prominent in rural areas as compared to urban areas.

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