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Mission Indradhanush gaining ground in Kerala

Mission Indradhanush, an initiative launched by the Union Health Ministry in December last year, as a special drive to vaccinate all unimmunised and partially immunised children and pregnant women by 2020, under the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) in the country, seems to have gained much ground in Kerala.

The programme, which focused on interventions to bring over 90 per cent of the children in the nation under the full immunisation cover, is being implemented in 201 high focus districts identified by the Union government. The Ministry estimates that nearly 50 per cent of the target group of children in the country are in these districts.

“Malappuram and Kasaragod in Kerala, where immunisation programmes have been suffering because of the ignorance of people and the anti-immunisation campaigns of some vested interests, got included in the high priority districts. We were targeting an estimated 23,000 children in these two districts. After completing four rounds of planned vaccination drives under Indradhanush, we have immunised 32,859 children in 4,346 sessions in both districts. We managed to cover children in migrant labour camps too,” G. Sunil Kumar, Deputy Director (Family Welfare) and State Programme Manager, NHM, said.

Covering 32,000 children in these two districts with huge vaccination-resistant pockets has been an immense task. However, more work might be needed to cover the backlog in some pockets where anti-immunisation propaganda is strong and has created a scare among people about vaccination.

Immunised children

The percentage of fully immunised children in Kerala currently stands at 83 per cent and Indradhanush may have helped the State push it to 84 per cent, officials said.

A fully immunised child should have received birth dose of BCG and oral polio vaccine (OPV), three doses each of Pentavalent vaccine (DPT, HIB, Hep B) and OPV and one dose of measles vaccine by first birthday.

The Union government has identified seven medium focus districts too – Kannur, Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Kottayam and Kollam – where there are gaps in immunisation cover.

These districts would be covered in the second phase of Indradhanush.

Kerala’s contribution to the total population of unimmunised/partially immunised children in the country is pegged at one per cent, out of which an estimated 63 per cent children are scattered across these seven medium focus districts.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2021 1:25:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mission-indradhanush-gaining-ground-in-kerala/article7622315.ece

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