States, districts achieving 90 percent immunisation cover to be rewarded: Nadda
New Delhi: The states and districts which succeed in achieving 90 percent immunisation coverage under the Centre's Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) will be rewarded by the health ministry, Union minister J P Nadda said.
The announcement was made at an IMI review meeting attended by health ministers and principal secretaries of 24 states.
The Intensified Mission Indradhanush was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 8 at Vadnagar, Gujarat.
Under the initiative, the central government aims to reach every child below the age of two years and pregnant women left uncovered under the routine immunisation programme.
A total of 190 districts and urban areas across 24 states have been identified for the project.
In the review meeting, Nadda stressed upon the need for regular meetings of state steering committees and task forces for strengthening inter-sectoral convergence.
"We must replicate the good practices and also ensure that the gaps identified in the October and November rounds of Intensified Mission Indradhanush are addressed in the subsequent rounds to reach the target set by the prime minister," he said.
He also suggested that state health ministers and principal secretaries organise video conferencing with district magistrates for reviewing IMI at regular intervals.
The Union health minister said the health ministry will give awards to best-performing districts and states based on their performance in Intensified Mission Indradhanush, evaluated through reported coverage and monitoring findings.
"The states and districts should achieve 90 per cent immunisation coverage for getting rewarded," he said.
Stressing that immunisation was recognised as the most cost-effective intervention for protecting children from vaccine-preventable diseases, the Union minister said, "We need to ensure that no child in our country suffers from diseases prevented by vaccine".
Mission Indradhanush (MI) was launched in December 2014, as a special drive to vaccinate all unimmunised and partially immunised children and pregnant women by 2020, under the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) in the country.
More than 2.55 crore children and around 68.71 lakh pregnant women have been immunized during four rounds of immunisation, spanning over two years, under the programme.
The progress in the exercise was validated by a report of Integrated Childhood and Immunisation Survey (INCHIS), which stated that the first two phases of MI led to an increase in full immunisation coverage by 6.7 percent.
Mission Indradhnaush is regularly reviewed by Modi.
During one of the reviews, he underlined the urgency to reach out to each and every child with due vaccines and preponed the timeline of achieving 90 percent immunisation coverage by December 2018.