Government of India partnering with WHO, UNICEF and other partners is leveraging the knowledge and infrastructure built during the polio campaign to step up routine immunization. This campaign, called Mission Indradhanush is targeting coverage for the seven vaccine preventable diseases.Mission Indradhanush is a health mission of the government of India. It was launched by Union Health Minister J. P. Nadda on 25 December 2014.
- It aims to immunize all children under the age of 2 years, as well as all pregnant women, against seven vaccine preventable diseases. The diseases being targeted are diphtheria, whoopingcough, tetanus, poliomyelitis, tuberculosis, measles and Hepatitis B.
- In addition to these, vaccines for Japanese encephalitis and Haemophilus influenzae type B are also being provided in selected states.
- 2000 doctors and field monitors who were working with the WHO on the Polio eradication programme are now part of the nationwide initiative to vaccinate all unvaccinated and partially vaccinated children, under the Universal Immunization Programme by 2020.
- Strengthening routine immunization will ensure a decrease in the incidence of deaths due to these seven vaccine preventable diseases. Also the high population immunity against polio will help maintain the polio-free status of the South East Asia Region.
Key partners in the polio eradication campaign, is assisting with risk-analysis – identifying children in underserved areas who have not been fully immunized and the underlying reasons, to strengthen our efforts.
The recently launched Mission focuses on interventions to expand full immunization coverage in India from 65% in 2013 to at least 90% children in the next five years.
- India’s Health Ministry, with help from the WHO, has identified 201 high-focus districts across the country that have nearly 50% of all unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children in the country. Of these, 82 districts are in just four states — Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
- These districts are now the focus of intensive efforts to improve the routine immunization coverage in the country.
- There are several reasons why India has so many unimmunized and partly immunized children — vast pools of illiteracy, lack of awareness about the benefits of immunization and lack of access to healthcare facilities.
In 2016, four new additions have been made namely Rubella, Japanese Encephalitis, Inject able Polio Vaccine Bi-valent and Rotavirus. In 2017, pneumonia was added to the Mission by incorporating Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine under Universal Immunization Programme.
Four phases of Mission Indradhanush have been completed in which 2.55 crore children and 68.7 lakh pregnant women have been vaccinated across the country.