While the government has claimed that its immunisation program has provided total immunisation for 83% of the children in the country, a new survey conducted by the National Statistical Offices (NSO) punches holes in the claim.
- As per the NSO survey, only 60% of the children under five years of age have been completely immunised as against the government claim of 83% – the internal data of the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs till November 2018.
- This too when 90% of the children in the county are born in an institution, either in a government or private facility.
- The mismatch between the NSO data and the government’s claims highlights the failure of the healthcare system of the country on tracking children born in hospitals and immunising them.
- The survey was conducted by NSO between July 2017 and June 2018.
- It had covered 1.2 lakh households across the country.
- While the proportion of fully-immunised children is 60% in the county, 2% of children are not getting any vaccination. The unimmunisied data of the NSO is in consonance with the government’s data.
- The percentage of fully-immunised children in rural areas is 58.4% and in urban areas, it is 61.7%, according to the NSO data.
- States like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh with the highest number of childbirths, the immunisation coverage is just 48% and 55%.
- Even the best performing states in the country Andhra Pradesh (73.6%) and Kerala (72.8%) still need to cover much ground.
- According to the NSO data, 97% of the children in the country received at least one vaccine with 96% in urban areas and 90% in rural areas.
- Mission Indradhanush is the government’s flagship program to completely immunise children in the country against diseases like Meningitis, Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, pneumonia and measles.
- While more funds have been allocated for the mission, the NSO data shows that coverage has remained stagnant over the years.
- Further, the government has launched Intensified Mission Indradhanush in October 2017, aiming to achieve 90% immunisation by 2020.