New Delhi: The year 2015 saw several crucial initiatives in health being launched. HT looks back and highlights some of the significant milestones achieved through the past year.
The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare launched “Mission Indradhanush”, to fully immunise more than 89 lakh children who are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated; those that have not been covered during the rounds of routine immunisation for various reasons. They will be fully immunised against seven life-threatening but vaccine preventable diseases which include diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis-B. In addition, vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis and Haemophilus influenza type B will be provided in selected districts/states of the country. Pregnant women will also be immunised against tetanus.
The first round of the first phase started from 7 April 2015-World Health Day- in 201 high focus districts in 28 states and carried for more than a week.
*During the first phase of Mission Indradhanush, 9.4 lakh sessions were held, during which 1.89 crore vaccines were administered to the children and pregnant women. During these immunization rounds more than 75 lakh children were vaccinated and about 20 lakh children were fully vaccinated. Also, more than 20 lakh pregnant women were vaccinated with tetanus.
*During Phase II of Mission Indradhanush, 4.49 lakh sessions were held, during which about 70 lakh vaccines were administered to the children and pregnant women. During these immunization rounds more than 27 lakh children were vaccinated and about 8 lakh children were fully vaccinated. Also, more than 6 lakh pregnant women were given tetanus shots.
Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Eliminated
Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination is defined as less than one neonatal tetanus case per thousand live births per year in every district. In 1989, global deaths from Neonatal Tetanus were estimated at 7.87 lakh per year and India contributed to approximately 2 lakh deaths. India achieved this validation through the system strengthening including improvement of institutional delivery, which is also a proxy indicator for clean delivery and clean cord care practices and by strengthening Routine Immunization.
Introduction of new vaccines
In a bid to protect the children from more vaccine preventable diseases, new vaccines are proposed to be introduced as part of India’s Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).
Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV)
India is Polio free but to maintain this status, the Inactivated Polio Vaccine was introduced on 30th October 2015. The vaccine has been initially introduced in six states: Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Assam and Punjab. This will benefit 2.7 crore children every year.
Adult Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccine
21 high burden districts have been identified in Assam, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal for adult JE vaccination in the age-group of 15-65 years. This will cut down deaths and morbidity due to Japanese Encephalitis in adults as well.
Each year India loses approximately 2 lakh children to diarrhoea out of which 1 lakh deaths are caused by Rotavirus. Rotavirus vaccine implemented to full scale would save approximately 1 lakh lives every year. The vaccine is planned to be introduced in first quarter of 2016 in four states initially i.e. Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh.
Measles Rubella vaccine
The vaccine will help to reduce incidence of Congenital Rubella Syndrome. As on date, approximately 25,000 cases of CRS are estimated each year and if the child survives, this adds to the disabilities in the country.The vaccination campaign is expected to cover 45 crore children.
*Special New born Care Units (SNCUs)
In order to strengthen the care of sick, premature and low birth weight newborn Special New born Care Units have been established at District Hospitals and tertiary care hospitals. These are 12-20 bedded units, with 4 trained doctors and 10-12 nurses and support staff with provision of 24x7 services to sick newborns.
*National Deworming Day
A Fixed Day Fixed Site strategy of the Government of India for effective deworming coverage
*Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight
Diarrhoea contributes to around 11% under-five deaths in country- most of these deaths are clustered around Summer and Monsoon season. To effectively address the issue, Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight (IDCF) was implemented from 27th July to 8th August 2015, with an aim of achieving improved coverage of essential life-saving commodity of ORS, zinc dispersible tablets and practice of appropriate child feeding practices during diarrhoea.
* Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK)
It has been launched to provide child health screening and early interventions services by expanding the reach of mobile health teams at block level. These teams will also carry out screening of all the children in the age group 0-6 years enrolled at Anganwadi Centres at least twice a year. An estimated 27 crore children in the age group of zero to eighteen years are expected to be covered in a phased manner.
For improving the skills of healthcare providers and to enhance their capacity to provide quality Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child & Adolescent Health services, Government of India has established five National Skills lab- Daksh, at Delhi-NCR with support from Maternal health division, Government of India and Liverpool school of tropical Medicine.
* Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram
It was launched with an overarching aim to address sexual and reproductive health, nutrition, injuries and violence (including gender based violence), prevention of non-communicable diseases, mental health and substance misuse related concerns of 253 million adolescents of our country.
Community based interventions
Peer Education Programme
The health ministry will select and orients four peer educators- two male and two female peer educators per village or 1000 population. These community level peer educators will receive standardized information and knowledge on sexual and reproductive health, nutrition, injuries and violence, prevention of non-communicable diseases, mental health and substance misuse through structured orientation sessions. After orientation, peer educators are expected to form group of 15-20 boys and girls and to conduct weekly participatory sessions on adolescent health, facilitate organization of Adolescent Health Day and ensure linkages with Adolescent Friendly Health Clinics (AFHCs) and Adolescent Helpline.
Weekly Iron Folic Acid Supplementation programme
It entails provision of weekly supervised IFA tablets to in-school boys and girls and out-of-school girls for prevention of iron and folic acid deficiency anaemia. Screening of targeted adolescents population for moderate/ severe anaemia and referral of these cases to an appropriate health facility; and information and counselling for prevention of nutritional anaemia are also included in the programme.
National Health Mission
*Augmentation of Human Resources
*24x 7 Services and First Referral facilities
*Mobile Medical Units increased
*National Ambulance Services upgraded
Mainstreaming of AYUSH
The department of AYUSH was turned into a full-fledged ministry
National Urban Health Mission
Primary health care service delivery infrastructure, which is largely absent in cities/towns by strengthening of existing Urban Family Welfare Centres, Urban Health Posts, dispensaries and establishment of new Urban Primary Health Centers and Urban Community Health Centres as per the need.