Health Min J.P. Nadda’s pledge to fulfill PM’s ‘Man Ki Bat’

Mission Indradhanush (Rainbow), a campaign for full immunization of all children born launched today

Health Min J.P. Nadda’s pledge to fulfill PM’s ‘Man Ki Bat’

New Delhi, March 23: Answering to the message sent by PM Narendra Modi, Union health Minister J.P. Nadda pledged today (March 23) that in keeping with Namo’s fond hope, he will make Mission Indradhanush (Rainbow), a mass children immunization program to save new born from 7 deadly diseases, a historic success.

The immunization under this mission starts from April 7. In the first phase of Mission between March and June 2015, 4 special immunization programs will be undertaken. During this period, all children below two years will be immunized. This drive will happen 7 days every month.

The minister further referred to Modi’s vision of Swastha Bharat (Healthy India) and said, ‘Without healthy children, healthy India can never be imagined. Healthy India will hinge only on healthy children. This can happen when we immunize all children against all vaccine preventable diseases’ He was launching media campaign for the mission in a function to which PM Modi had messaged his hope that Union Health Ministry would make this mission a huge success.

Highlighting strategy for making this mission a real success, he said, ‘though the task is overwhelming given the vastness and expanse of the country, it is quite achievable. He will leave no stone unturned to fulfill the pledge he made to PM Modi. I will see to it that polio like success is replicated in fighting all seven diseases that kill children.’

The multimedia campaign material was unveiled in the midst of emanating gleeful little joyous laughter of infants integrated into them. The chuckling sound of little ones especially made this program a heart warming one. Song for this multi media campaign has been written by Javed Akhtar and sung by duo Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik.

The Minister sought the cooperation and support of various stakeholders, including civil society, development partners, states, political leaders and the media for creating awareness regarding the importance to fully immunize every child against all vaccine preventable diseases in the country. Mission Indradhanush depicting seven colors of the rainbow, aims to cover all those children by 2020 who are either unvaccinated or are partially vaccinated against seven vaccine preventable diseases which include diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis B.

Elaborating on the Mission Indradhanush , the Minister informed that between 2009-2013 immunization coverage has increased from 61% to 65%, indicating only 1% increase in coverage every year. To accelerate the process of immunization by covering 5% and more children every year, the Mission Mode has been adopted to achieve target of full coverage by 2020. The Minister stated that 201 high-focus districts will be taken up for implementation in the first phase. Of these, 82 districts are in just four states of UP, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and nearly 25% of the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children of India are in these 82 districts of four states. Moreover, 297 will be targeted for the second phase.

The Health Minister stated that the elaborate micro plans developed to make the Mission mode successful will draw on the lessons learned from the Polio eradication towards systems strengthening, vaccine cold chain management, regular surveillance and monitoring of the plans to reach each and every left out and uncovered child.

Highlighting the critical importance of a targeted and effective IEC campaign, Nadda stated that studies have revealed that children are left uncovered by the routine immunization program either because the parents and guardians are unaware of the drive, or there is some element of apprehension or fear due to vaccination. Both these can be effectively addressed through an awareness campaign which underlines the critical importance of vaccination, and removes any apprehension harbored by the parent or the guardian.

Nadda appealed to all and sundry to participate in the Mission to ensure that no child is left uncovered during the rounds that will commence soon. Health Secretary Shri Bhanu Pratap Sharma underscored the challenges that face the effective implementation of the Mission given the scale of the country and the difficulties in reaching children living in rural and remote areas, riverines, mining units, far flung and remote hamlets etc. He stated that the team of AHSAs and ANMs are committed in their endeavor to make the Mission a success. The Ministry has particularly paid attention to systems strengthening and capacity building of the frontline workers in this Mission Mode.

Louis-Georges Arsenault, UNICEF India Representative,  Dr Nata Menabde, WHO Representative,  Mr. Deepak Kapur, Chairperson, Rotary India National PolioPlus Committee, Prof. Laxminarayan Ramanan, Vice President, PHFI  all praised the laudable aim and pledged all support to this end.  Dr. (Prof) Jagdish Prasad, DGHS, C.K. Mishra, Mission Director, Dr. Rakesh Kumar joint secretary and others were present.

The campaign billed as the biggest-ever immunization drive in the history of the country’s mass mobilization for a healthcare cause. The program sponsored by immunization and technical support unit of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), a public-private initiative for training, research and policy development in the area of public health, will go a long way in combating as many as childhood diseases and prevent early death among infants and newborns.

The main objective of the mission is to provide full immunization to cover 90 per cent of children before they attain the age of nine months. The aim is to underscore the potential of Auxiliary Nurses Midwifes (ANMs) and penetration of ASHA and Aaganwadi works and make them feel that they are at the vanguard of the program.

The first vaccine has to be administered to a child at the time of birth. The second, third and the fourth has to be administered in 10 and 14 weeks and nine months respectively that cover all the seven diseases mentioned above.

According the data provided by Public Health Foundation, Uttar Pradesh has fared poorly in Full Immunization Campaign (FIC) with just 40 per cent immunization along with Gujarat with 56.6 per cent and Madhya Pradesh 42 per cent immunization while southern states like Karnataka with 78 per cent, Andhra Pradesh 68 per cent have done reasonably well.

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