Employment news Intensified Mission Indradhanush

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The government has launched Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 2.0 which is being carried out between December 2019 and March 2020. The IMI 2.0 aims to escalate efforts to achieve that goal of attaining 90% national immunization coverage across India by plugging the loopholes with lessons learnt from previous phases. The programme will be delivered in 271 districts of 27States and 652 blocks of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar among hard-to reach and tribal populations. The government has also launched IMI 2.0 portal that has been designed to capture information on the block wise target of children and pregnant women to be vaccinated during the IMI drive. The data will be entered at the district level. This will help the programme officers and administrators at the block, district, state and national level to have real time information on the progress of the campaign and also take timely action on slow progress in any particular area, according to Union Health Minister.

Salient Features of IMI:

  • Immunization activity will be in four round over seven working days excluding the RI days, Sunday and other holidays.
  • Enhanced Immunisation session with flexible timing, mobile session and mobilisation by other departments.
  • Enhanced focused on left outs, drop outs and resistant families and hard to reach areas.
  • Focus on urban, under-served population and tribal areas.
  • After the completion of the proposed 4 rounds, the States will be expected to undertake measures to sustain the gains from IMI, through activities like inclusion of IMI sessions in routine Immunisation plans. The sustainability of IMI will be assessed through a survey.
  • The 4 rounds of Immunisation will be conducted in the selected districts and urban cities between December 2019- March 2020.

How Mission Indradhanush has been incremental in increasing the immunization coverage India:

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, introduced its Immunization Programme in 1978 as ‘Expanded Programme of Immunization’ (EPI). In 1985, the programme was.

Modified as ‘Universal Immunization Programme’ (UIP) to be implemented in phased manner to cover all districts in the country by 1989-90. India’s immunisation programme is the largest in the world, with annual cohorts of around 26.5 million infants’ and29 million pregnant women. Despite steady progress, routine vaccination coverage has been slow to increase. According to the National Family Health Survey-4 2015-16 (NFHS4), the full immunisation coverage is around 62%. The factors limiting vaccination coverage include the rapid urbanisation, presence of large migrating and isolated populations that are difficult to reach, and low demand from under informed and unaware populations.

Owing to such limitations, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched a revamped immunization drive in December 2014 and named it as Mission Indradhanush. It aimed to target the most vulnerable, resistant, and inaccessible population. Between April 2015 and July 2017, around 25.5 million children and 6.9 million pregnant women were vaccinated. This contributed to an increase of 6.7% in full immunization coverage (7.9% in rural areas and 3.1% in urban areas) after the first two rounds.

Also, districts and primary care facilities work was must more effectively with no health stakeholders by involving them early in logistics planning, communication, and messaging strategies, the ministry officials summed up. The ministry said that in rolling out the IMI, a seven-step process was developed to support district and sub district planning and implementation of IMI, with staff at all levels receiving training. Door to-door headcount surveys and due listing of beneficiaries were conducted by facility staff (auxiliary nurse midwives), community based workers (accredited social health activists), and non-health workers (Anganwadi workers), and validated by supervisors for completeness and quality. Session micro planning identified new sites for conducting vaccination sessions if needed, organised mobile teams for remote areas, and ensured that supplies were available.

Despite certain limitations and challenges, India has achieved groundbreaking success in eradicating/eliminating life-threatening vaccine preventable diseases by systematically implementing vaccination programmes. These include small pox, polio and more recently, maternal and neonatal tetanus. Despite persisting challenges such as a vast population, poor sanitation and hygiene, and a difficult geographical terrain that make containing outbreak of disease and increasing access to vaccines difficult. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has employed an effective approach – such as involving the community, seeking support from other Ministries and partner agencies, establishing an organised surveillance system, and employing mass campaign management strategies to reach every unreached child for vaccination.

With the launch of Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0, India has the opportunity to achieve further reductions in deaths among children fewer than five years of age, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of ending preventable child deaths by 2030. By building on successes of the past, learning from challenges, and consolidating efforts across stakeholder groups, the country can fulfil its aim of attaining a disease free India. Vaccines are a truly critical intervention in this journey, and are the key to safeguarding our present, and building a healthier tomorrow for our future generations.

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