According to the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs, Mission Indradhanush, a part of the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP), now covers 87% of the country.
- Mission Indradhanush was launched in 2014 to immunise children against various diseases.
- As per the HMIS (self reporting by the states), the programme has now reached 87% of India.
- But, the Ministry has launched a larger survey as the data from states is not verifiable.
- The nearest thing to survey data that is with the Ministry is the concurrent monitoring data which shows that 85% of the country is covered under UIP.
- Concurrent monitoring is a combination of provider reporting and supervisor surveys that are done within the system to check the functioning of a programme.
- As per concurrent data for 2014, 67% of the country is immunised till the launch of Mission Indradhanush.
- But, the official data for immunisation is still at 62% which is according to the National Family Health Survey-4 of 2015-16.
- The programme began with booster vaccination in 201 low immunisation districts in the country.
- It represented vaccination against seven diseases that were included in the UIP – tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, Diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus and measles.
- Now, the number of diseases went to 12 with the inclusion of rubella, rotavirus, haemophilus influenza type-B, and polio. And in select few states and districts vaccines are also provided against Japanese Encephalitis and pneumococcus.
- The main aim of the Mission is to target undeserved, vulnerable, resistant and inaccessible populations.
- Between April 2015 and July 2017, 25.5 million children and 6.9 million pregnant women were vaccinated through the Mission.
- This led to an increase of 6.7% full immunisation coverage.
India has the largest number of child deaths due to vaccine-preventable diseases. Around 5 lakh children die every year. The Mission Indradhanush is the flagship programme of the government with an ambitious target of achieving full immunisation of children across the country. In this scenario, the preliminary data suggesting 87% coverage is heartening and soon full immunisation will be achieved. Keeping in mind the success story of eradicating wild polio in the country, the government machinery did well to achieve immunisation targets so far. With full-coverage India will help its children avoid suffering in the form of disability, deformity or death.