Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday reviewed the preparedness of various states for the rollout of the second phase of an intensified vaccination campaign on December 2, with a special focus on improving coverage in areas with “low” immunization.
The minister reviewed the preparedness of states for the rollout of Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 2.0 Vardhan said the IMI 2.0 aims to achieve full immunization by targeting each and every child below the age of two years and all pregnant women still uncovered or partially covered in 271 districts of the country and 652 blocks of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
According to government data, 260 lakh children are born every year and an estimated 31 lakh out of them would not receive complete rounds of vaccination in the first year of their life due to various reasons.
Interacting with state principal secretaries, National Health Mission directors and immunization officers of states during a video-conference, Vardhan emphasised the importance of immunization of children and pregnant women as part of the IMI 2.0 and the high priority bring accorded by the Health Ministry for achieving full immunisation coverage targets.
“While we are required to achieve 90 percent immunisation coverage target, we should all aim to ensure that not even one child dies of vaccine-preventable diseases, especially, when we have a basket of vaccines as part of our routine Universal Immunisation Program (UIP),” Vardhan said.
Health ministers from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, and Odisha also attended the meeting.
“With the launch of IMI 2.0, India has the opportunity to achieve further reductions in deaths among children under five years of age, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of ending preventable child deaths by 2030,” the minister said.
The health minister asked state representatives to take lessons from the experience of the polio campaign in which besides efforts from the states, various non-state partners and stakeholders had joined hands to achieve set targets.
“Let us learn from the best practices of the states, their experience of earlier rounds of Mission Indradhnush (MI) and share this knowledge for achieving last mile goals during IMI 2.0 rounds,” he stressed.
During the video conference, states informed that they have completed the preparedness activities for the rollout of IMI 2.0 from December 2. Micro plans and due-lists are ready, and intense IEC activities have been implemented in the select 272 districts in 29 states where IMI 2.0 is to be rolled out, they said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the ambitious IMI, in October 2017, aimed at achieving 90 percent full immunisation coverage with a focus towards districts and urban areas with persistently low levels.
Now, the government is poised to launch IMI 2.0 between December 2019 – March 2020 seeking to escalate efforts to achieve 100 percent national immunization coverage across India.
Several ministries, including the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Panchayati Raj, Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Youth Affairs, among others will come together to make the mission a resounding success and support the central government in ensuring the benefits of vaccines reach the last mile, he said.
The immunisation activity will be in four rounds over seven working days excluding the RI days, Sundays and holidays and there will be enhanced focus on left-outs, dropouts, and resistant families and hard to reach areas.