Eleventh-hour transfer of med officers paralyses immunisation drive

  • Subhash Mishra, Hindustan Times, Dhanbad
  • Updated: Jul 08, 2015 09:40 IST
A doctor administers a vaccine to a child in the RIMS campus in Ranchi. The immunisation drive, which is called Mission Indradhanush, has been hampered in its efforts by last minute transfers of medical professionals in Jharkhand (Diwakar Prasad/ HT Photo)

The mass transfer of medical officers a week before the last phase of Mission Indradhanush, which plans to immunise all children against seven vaccine-preventable diseases by 2020, has hamstrung the drive in six districts of the state.

142 medical officers, including the Reproductive Child Healthcare (RCH) officers, were transferred on June 30 before the last round (July 7 to July 14) of the Mission was to begin.

According to reports, now most of the new medical officers are either unaware of the micro plan of the mission or ignorant of the geographical terrain of new places to be able to monitor the programme.

“Since Mission Indradhanush is being implemented only in six districts, the new medical officers who have come from other districts of the state know nothing about it. By the time they get to know the programme, it would be over. Our micro plan has been badly affected following the sudden transfer of medical officers,” said civil surgeon of Santhal Pargana, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The Central government has selected only six districts of Jharkhand -- Giridih, Dhanbad, Deoghar, Pakur, Godda and Sahebgunj -- under its pilot project Mission Indradhanush.

Under the project, 1.05 lakh children (0-2 years), who were not immunised earlier, will be administered special vaccinations in the fourth round to prevent them from seven fatal diseases -- diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis B. The first three rounds were conducted in April (7 to 14), May (7 to 14) and June (7 to 14).

The state immunisation nodal officer, Dr Ajit Prasad has, however, ruled out any impact of medical officers’ transfers on the mission.

“Transfers of doctors have been done for better results and they have not affected the mission,” he said on Tuesday.

Prasad, who visited all the six selected districts to monitor the preparation of the fourth and the last round of programme from July 7 to July 14, said except for Giridih, Mission Indradhanush was being executed as per the plan.

“In Giridih, there was some problem that has been addressed now. All the six districts have been directed to bring all those children, who have missed routine immunisation (IR), under this ambitious programme,” he said.

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