Immunisation - Various Programmes & importance of UIP

Immunisation - Various Programmes & importance of UIP

Question - Mission Indradhanush has been launched by the Ministry for Health and Family Welfare recently. Discuss the various immunisation programmes and importance of achieving universal immunisation in India.

• Immunisation is the key to protection of children from dangerous medical conditions
• India has one of the largest immunisation programmes in the world currently

Various Immunication Programmes in India

National Immunisation Programme: Immunisation programmes in India were launched in the year 1978 as an EPI or Expanded Programme of Immunisation

National Polio Surveillance Project 1985: The former polio programme was a collaboration between WHO and the government.

Pulse Polio Programme: This programme was started in Delhi in 1994 and expanded since then to the whole nation in the year 1995. The Pulse Polio campaign is currently being implemented as well.

Universal Immunisation Programme: Programme gained a boost in 1985 and was expanded as the Universal Immunisation Programme to be implemented in a phased manner to cover districts by 1989-1990

- UIP was incorporated into the Child Survival and Safe Motherhood Programme since the year 1992 and the Reproductive and Child Health Care Programme in 1997

1997 onwards, immunisation activities are a critical part of the National Reproductive and Child Health Programme

National Rural Health Mission: Immunisation is one of the key areas under National Rural Health Mission from 2005 onwards

Immunisation Strengthening Project: This is associated with increasing the reach and coverage of immunisation programmes.

Measles Catch Up Campaign: This programme was implemented in 2011-2012 and it covered various districts in India.

National Vaccine Policy: This was formulated in April 2011 for research and development activities pertaining to vaccines

Mission Indradhanush: Presently, Mission Indradhanush is a nationwide initiative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

It aims to cover all children by 2020 who are either completely unvaccinated or partially vaccinated against 7 preventable diseases; this includes diptheria, whooping cough, polio, TB, tetanus, measles and hepatitis B.

Features of Universal Immunisation

• Process of immunisation through coverage of 5% and more children each year is the focus of the government

• Full coverage is targeted by 2020 as around 201 high focus districts are associated with implementation in the first phase

• Universal immunisation is even more critical in certain states; for instance 82 of the 201 high focus districts are concentrated in 4 states namely UP, MP, Bihar and Rajasthan and close to 25% of unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children in India are located in these 82 districts

Importance of Universal Immunisation

• Universal immunisation is critical for India where between 2009-2013 immunisation coverage has increased from 61% to 65% covering only 1% increase per annum

• Immunisation is a cost effective health strategy to deal with life threatening and infectious diseases

• It averts between 2 to 3 million deaths each year

• It is a proven strategy for countering life threatening diseases

• Immunisation is also ideal for people residing in remote areas and vulnerable populations such as rural areas, riverine mining units, remote hamlets and so on

• Immunisation can be effectively implemented through outreach programmes

• Immunisation also does not require critical lifestyle changes

• Immunisation is a safe and effective way to guard against the spread of contagious and infectious diseases in any region/area.

• Universal immunisation is vitally needed through capacity building of frontline workers

• India currently has the highest number of unvaccinated children across the globe; of 89 lakh children that did not receive all vaccines under the Universal Immunisation Programme, 17 lakh did not receive a single vaccine

Facts and Stats

• Higher than 1/3rd of children in India are not vaccinated against life threatening illnesses such as measles and TB currently, as per government data

• Drug resistant versions of diseases are another challenge for immunisation programmes

• Under the Universal Immunisation Programme operating for the last 3 decades in India, only 65% of children received all vaccines. Coverage has increased by 4% in the last 4 years only pointing to systemic failures

• Mission Indradhanush aims to provide 90% coverage and increase access to healthcare for the vulnerable sections of society
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