Phase 2 of Mission Indradhanush Launched

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Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare has launched the second phase of project Mission Indradhanush. The second phase of this initiative aims to cover all children below 2 years of age and pregnant women with full immunization against seven vaccine preventable diseases.

The Health Minister urged the states/UTs to put into practice the lessons learnt during the first phase of Mission Indradhanush for sustained gains. The Minister stated that this would not only help in increasing the immunization coverage in the state but would contribute to strengthening the health systems.

In the second phase of Mission Indradhanush, 352 districts have been selected including 279 mid priority districts, 33 from the North East states and 40 districts from phase one where large number of missed out children were detected. The second phase will commence from 7th October, 2015 for a week. This will be followed by weeklong intensified immunization drives for three consecutive months, starting from 7th November and 7th December 2015 and 7th January 2016.

Mission Indradhanush was launched by Union Health Minister J.P Nadda on December 25, 2014. It aims to immunize all children against seven vaccine preventable diseases namely diphtheria, whooping cough (Pertussis), tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis B by 2020.

The first round of the first phase started from 7 April 2015-World health Day- in 201 high focus districts in 28 states and carried for more than a week. This was followed by three rounds of more than a week in the months of April, May June and July 2015, starting from 7th of each month.

The 201 high focus districts account for nearly 50% of all unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children in the country. Of these, 82 districts account for nearly 25% of all unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children of the country.

Within the districts, the Mission focused on 4,00,000 high risk settlements identified as pockets with low coverage due to geographic, demographic, ethnic and other operational challenges. These include nomads and migrant labour working on roads, construction sites, riverbed mining areas, brick kilns, and those living in remote and inaccessible geographical areas and urban slums, and the underserved and hard to reach populations dwelling in forested and tribal areas.

During the four rounds of Mission Indradhanush, 9.4 lakh sessions were held, during which about 2 crore vaccines were administered to the children and pregnant women. During these immunization rounds 75.5 lakh children were vaccinated and about 20 lakh children were fully vaccinated.

Also, more than 20 lakh pregnant women were vaccinated with tetanus toxoid vaccine during these four rounds. To combat the problem of diarrhoea, zinc tablets and ORS packets were freely distributed to all the children to protect them against diarrhoea. More than 16 lakh ORS packets and about 57 lakh zinc tablets were distributed to the children during these four rounds of Mission Indradhanush.

The Mission Indradhanush, depicting seven colours of the rainbow, targets to immunize all children against seven vaccine preventable diseases namely Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Childhood Tuberculosis, Polio, Hepatitis B and Measles. In addition to this, vaccines for JE (Japanese Encephalitis) and Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type B) are also being provided in selected states.

Immunization is the key to protect children from life threatening conditions that are preventable. As per MOHFW, immunization coverage in India has increased from 61% to 65% only from 2009-2013. So, MOHFW has decided to intensify its efforts in immunization though this mission.

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