Health

Mapping family’s health through unvaccinated kids

What can one unimmunised child tell about the health of the entire family? According to officials in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare unvaccinated children can be the source of identifying gaps in the health care system in the country.

The Ministry has designed a unique system to identify the reasons for the prevalence of problems like maternal mortality, child mortality and under-nutrition despite programme aimed at containing them by tracing unimmunised children.

Explaining the concept, Rakesh Kumar, joint secretary in the Ministry said: “A family that has not vaccinated their child is also vulnerable to problems like under-nutrition, child births that are not institutionalised or where children are likely to die of vaccine preventable diseases. By tracing these unvaccinated children, we will get access to other health problems that the family faces.”

To reach out to these unvaccinated children the Ministry has launched a new programme 'Indradhanush' which will be run to supplement the immunisation drives carried out by the Centre. There are as many as 89 lakh unimmunised children in the country that the Centre is trying to reach out to through Indradhanush.

“We have 30 million pregnancies in the country and only 27 million births, 10-15 per cent of these pregnancies fall in the high risk category, and if they get medical attention and care during delivery, we can bring down the maternal and infant mortality rates,” Mr. Kumar said.

By following up on the history of the unimmunised children, health care workers will be able to identify the problems that family faces, for instance if the mother is anaemic or diabetics. “By the end of the vaccination drive we will not only have reached out to unimmunised children and saved their lives, but will also have data on key health parameters that need attention,” Mr. Kumar said.

Programmes have been drawn up in such a way that immunisation plans will be supplemented by surveys in critical districts to assess the penetration of the vaccination drive. “On the face of it, Indradhanush is just a vaccination programme, but has a wider canvas. The programme will be carried out through ANMs who will have to follow microplans and a routine for vaccination, which will be monitored at the district level as well as the national level to ensure not a single unvaccinated child is left out and use the camps to disburse ORS and other drugs and antibiotics that are needed for child and maternal health,” Mr. Kumar explained.


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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 10:26:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/mapping-familys-health-through-unvaccinated-kids/article7041516.ece

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