Vaccination drive in Rajasthan stays immune to doctors’ stir: Official | jaipur | Hindustan Times
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Vaccination drive in Rajasthan stays immune to doctors’ stir: Official

Rajasthan has covered about 80% of children below the age of two years under an intensive immunisation drive in the last three months despite doctors’ strikes, a senior health official said.

jaipur Updated: Dec 28, 2017 20:51 IST
P Srinivasan
Intensified Mission Indradhanush’ (IMI) aims to reach every child below two years and pregnant women, not covered under the routine immunisation programme.
Intensified Mission Indradhanush’ (IMI) aims to reach every child below two years and pregnant women, not covered under the routine immunisation programme.(Reuters Photo)

Rajasthan has covered about 80% of children below the age of two years under an intensive immunisation drive in the last three months despite doctors’ strikes, a senior health official said.

The drive, ‘Intensified Mission Indradhanush’ (IMI), aims to reach every child below two years and pregnant women, not covered under the routine immunisation programme. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched IMI in Gujarat’s Vadnagar in early October.

The state health department prepared a list of children below 2 years, which helped in targeting the beneficiaries, said Dr SM Mittal, director (reproductive and child health). IMI is being implemented in Rajasthan’s 12 districts -- Alwar, Barmer, Bikaner, Dholpur, Jaipur, Jalore, Jodhpur, Karauli, Pali, Pratapgarh, Sawai Madhopur and Udaipur.

“Despite obstacles, as per the World Health Organisation monitoring report, the IMI coverage was 81.6% in October, 80.9% in November and 83.1% in December. Union health minister JP Nadda, in a video-conferencing on December 6, praised Rajasthan for the excellent coverage,” Mittal said. “Had the in-service doctors been working, the coverage could have been more.”

From October 2 to 16, in-service doctors boycotted meetings, video conferences and training, and stopped sending reports, he said. The doctors went on strike from November 6 to 12, and again from December 16 to 27. The strike was called off after the government accepted their demands.

IMI was held for seven days every month from October to December; the drive will continue in January 2018. Quoting the union health minister, Mittal said Rajasthan was on the top with more than 80% coverage.

Nadda had announced that the health ministry would award the best performing districts and states; more than 90% full immunisation is the benchmark for the awards. “Rajasthan will definitely achieve the target of more than 90% and win the first prize,” a health official said.

India’s target of at least 90% vaccine coverage by 2020 has been advanced to December 2018 with the launch of IMI, a revised version of Mission Indradhanush launched in April 2015.