As part of a nationwide programme, Union minister of state for health and family welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey, on Sunday, launched ’Intensified Mission Indradhanush’, in the state capital with an aim to immunise all children in Bihar against preventable diseases.Inaugurating the special drive for immunisation, the union minister said as per plan, 90% immunisation coverage would be achieved by December 2018. Significantly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the “Intensified Mission Indradhanush” at his hometown, Vadnagar, in Gujarat on Sunday.Initially, 16 districts of the state, which have been affected by the recent floods and where the immunisation coverage is low, have been taken up for the programme. They include Darbhanga, Madhubani, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur, Lakhisarai, Katihar and Patna (urban). Choubey said the special drive for immunisation would be effectively launched in the entire state from November 7, 2017.The mission has been launched to accelerate the process of immunisation by covering 5% and more children every year with an aim to achieve the target of full coverage by 2020. According to an official data, during the years 2009-2013, the immunisation coverage in the country increased only by 1% every year, which the union ministry of health and family welfare found too low. Hence the “Mission Indradhanush” was launched.Bihar health minister Mangal Pandey, who was also present at the launching of the “Intensified Mission Indradhanush”, said his department would put in every effort to make the programme a grand success.“Our endeavour is to protect the children from all preventable diseases,” he asserted.Pandey, like Chaoubey, said though the programme was formally launched in the state on Sunday, to coincide it with its nationwide opening, it would effectively be implemented in Bihar from November 7.The health minister said the “Mission Indradhanush” would also help improve the health indicators of Bihar. “We will take all such steps, which would make the population of Bihar, especially its children, healthy,” he added.As per the scheme, house-to-house survey would be conducted to ensure full immunisation coverage of children. The special drive would be conducted each week of a month, consecutively for four months. Mission Indradhanush would not affect the ongoing routine immunisation, which would continue as per schedule,” said a health department official. “Lessons derived from the successful execution of the pulse polio programme, which completely eradicated poliomyelitis from Bihar, would be applied in planning and implementation of Intensified Mission Indradhanush, which depicts the seven colours of the rainbow,” he added.