Taking the pole position in the country by launching the seven-day second round of the Mission Indradhanush — the vaccination drive for infants and pregnant women — pan-Haryana from Thursday, the state health department has gone the whole hog to spread awareness among the masses.
Under the mission, vaccines are being given to children up to two years and to pregnant women for protection against nine preventable diseases like tuberculosis, neonatal tetanus, diptheria, pertussis, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenza type B, measles, polio and Japanese encephalitis at all primary health centres (PHCs), community health centres (CHCs) and general hospitals.
“Mobile vans are also being sent to places like brick kilns and slums to ensure 100% vaccination,” said additional chief secretary, health, Ram Niwas, in a press conference in the city on Wednesday.
In a novel initiative, the department has set as caller tune the lyrics — Bachche ki jaan bachana (Save the child) — on the tune of Kajra Mohabbat Wala (the garlands of love), a song sung by Asha Bhosle and Shamshad Begum in a 1968-film Kismat) on phones with all its 25,000 workers.
The lyrics go on to mention the schedule of the nine vaccines to be administered to infants and the expecting mothers.
“They will hear it on every call and remember the mission,” the ACS said.
Interestingly, the lyrics on saving the child have been written by the ACS himself.
The music has been given by his cousins Ashok and Mukesh Verma and two Rohtak-based music students Meenakshi and Kavita are the lead singers.
“It is our own production with no expenditure as everyone chipped in,” the ACS said.
Other catchy lines of the song are “Poora yeh course karana, isme naa paisa lagaana, maan ka karenge gungaan, bachche banege balwan (Complete the course, do not give any money and the mother will be remembered by her healthy children) and “Dayee ko door bhagana, daktar se naa ghabrana, tere hathon mein hai iski jaan, bachcha banega balwan (a message against going to quacks).
The ACS has been known for ventures into singing has released a couple of his CDs in the past. “Though the Centre had selected only five districts, the Haryana government covered 13 districts in the first round launched last month, and it will now cover all 21 districts,” he said, adding even chief minister ML Khattar and health minister Anil Vij had appealed to the panchayats.
He said the department’s efforts had led to a reduction in the infant mortality rate (IMR) and maternal mortality rate (MMR). The IMR had reduced to 36 from 41, though the target is to reduce it to 27.
“The sex ratio in Haryana is 875 per 1,000 which was 834 earlier. There has been an increase in institutional deliveries at 86%,” the ACS added.