Vaccination gets Mission Indradhanush boost

The coming Monday will mark the formal launch of the third phase of Mission Indradhanush in Hyderabad and the other districts of Telangana State. Health authorities here have pinned high hopes from the immunisation programme. They hope that this project would be able to fix the inherent ‘gaps’ that are present in the public immunisation drive in Telangana State.

Before the launch of Mission Indradhanush in Telangana, the first phase was launched in Adilabad and Mahabubnagar this April, a host of government agencies had conducted rapid assessment surveys on immunisation. The surveys were aimed at finding the extent of coverage in Telangana.

The results were not that encouraging.

A rapid assessment survey before Mission Indradhanush revealed that the immunisation coverage in Telangana is close to 50 per cent. Before that, another report, District Level Household Survey (DLHS) had put the figure of immunisation in Telangana close to 60 per cent.

What does this survey mean to children in Telangana?

Annually, the birth cohort of Telangana is 6.3 lakh children. If we consider the rapid assessment survey, then 3.2 lakh children (0 to 2 years) in the State, due to various reasons, are unable to complete the full quota of vaccines, which are being provided under the universal immunisation programme of India.

The Mission Indradhanush is a desperate attempt by health authorities to reach out to such children and their parents who have been unable to access vaccination programmes due to various reasons.

The low coverage of vaccination has its bearings in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). Public health experts argue that if we get our immunisation drive right, then the IMR can be decreased by 30 to 40 per cent. At present, latest figures put forward by public health experts indicate that the IMR, defined as the number of infants that die for 1,000 live births is 29 in Telangana. Some other earlier studies in 2013 have put the IMR figure at 39.

By rough estimates, Telangana State loses out anywhere between 94 and 96 new-borne babies in a month. In a year, the State loses out close to 25,000 new borne babies.

Since April, when the first phase of the immunisation drive launched, officials maintained, that the coverage started to improve. “Mission Indradhanush helped us to go on a mission mode. This meant that the objectives, scopes, roles, timelines and milestones on immunisation that have to be achieved were clearly defined. A lot of success has been achieved in the last two rounds,” says Chief Programme Officer, National Health Mission (NHM) in Telangana, Dr. G. Srinivasa Rao.

Since, April the number of infants covered under full and complete immunisation programmes has started to swell. “We have covered 52,433 children under full and complete immunisation in Telangana. Similar efforts throughout the State will be launched on December 7 and January 7,” Dr. Srinivas adds.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 9:52:26 PM |

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