The health department is planning to initiate real-time tracking of routine vaccination drives to improve falling immunisation rates among the state’s children, an official said on Monday.
The system will be implemented on a pilot basis in Haridwar district. After analysing its success, the real-time tracking will be replicated in other districts.
The health department is working to boost immunisation levels of children after the National Family Health Survey-4 found a decline in immunisation rates.
According to the survey, the extent of immunisation of children aged between 12-23 months was over 60% in 2005-06, which fell to 57.7% in 2015-16.
Incidentally, the extent of children fully immunised for BCG (immunization against tuberculosis), measles and 3 doses each of polio and DPT (a combined vaccination for 3 diseases) was found to be relatively lesser in urban areas (56.5%) as compared to that in rural areas (58.2%).
Health department officials said Haridwar was identified as the district has one of the highest floating/migratory population in the hill state.
“Under the system, which is being launched for the first time, five ANMs (health workers) will send day-to-day updates of immunisation done by them to a designated nodal officer through WhatsApp (mobile messenger), who will further relay the compiled report to the block level officer,” Dr DK Chakrapani, the state immunisation officer, told HT.
“He will then forward the reports to the district immunization officer who will in turn send the aggregate reports of the district to the state-level officials,” Chakrapani said.
The system will help in ensuring quick data transmission and transparency in the existing Health Management Information System database, under which immunisation details are updated using registers submitted manually by the health workers - which at times takes several days to be updated.
“We will be able to keep a close eye on progress of the immunisation programme, identify gaps in the process and cover the left-out children in a sustained, timely manner. The real-time updates will also be verified with the manual registers on a monthly basis to ensure that there is no discrepancy in data,” he said.
The department is also taking other measures for increasing efficiency of the immunisation programme which include developing alternate plans/arranging health workers from nearby centres where they’re not available, taking head counts of left-out children or those with partial/incomplete immunization and providing training to cold chain handlers for maintaining quality of vaccine administered to children.