New Delhi, Aug 1 (IANS) Aiming to focus on areas with low immunisation coverage, all the states in the country will conduct Intensified Mission Indradhanush drives starting from October 7, officials said on Tuesday.
Announcing the initiative, the Union Health Ministry said the drive will be for seven working days from the 7th of every month for four consecutive months, excluding Sundays, holidays and routine immunisation days. The programme aims to reach its target of full immunisation coverage by 2018.
A total of 118 districts, 17 urban areas and 52 districts of northeastern states will be targeted under the programme.
“Under Intensified Mission Indradhanush, greater focus will be given on urban areas which were one of the gaps of Mission Indradhanush. This will be done through mapping of all underserved population in urban areas and need-based deployment of ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwives) for providing vaccination services in these areas,” said a statement from the ministry.
Mobility support to field staff for deployment to such areas in urban as well as rural areas will be provided, it added.
A distinctive feature of Intensified Mission Indradhanush is that greater focus is being given on convergence with other ministries and departments, especially Women and Child Development, Panchayati Raj, Urban Development and Youth Affairs.
To make the immunisation programme a success, intensive monitoring and strong accountability mechanism is being established at all levels with the Cabinet Secretary at national level and the Chief Secretary at state level reviewing the preparations and progress.
Every district identified for Intensified Mission Indradhanush will be monitored by partners through an identified nodal person for each district.
The Health Ministry said that in the past it has been seen that the increase in immunization coverage had slowed down and it increased at the rate of 1 per cent per year between 2009 and 2013.
To accelerate this coverage Mission Indradhanush was envisaged and implemented since 2015 to rapidly increase the full immunization coverage to 90 per cent.
Four phases of Mission Indradhanush have been completed in 528 districts across the country. More than 2.47 crore children and around 67 lakh pregnant women have been vaccinated under the mission so far.
The first two phases of Mission Indradhanush led to an increase of 6.7 per cent full immunization coverage in 1 year as compared to 1 per cent increase in the past. This increase has been more prominent in rural areas as compared to urban areas.