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7 NE States to launch IMI on October 7

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  25 Sep 2017 12:00 AM GMT

From A Reporter

Shillong, Sept 24: Seven North-eastern States will launch Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI), a flagship immunisation programme of the Government of India, in an intensified manner from 7th October.

The IMI will focus on select urban areas and other pockets where coverage has been low. The information was shared with jourlists from seven States – Sikkim, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Aruchal Pradesh and galand – during a “Media Sensitisation Workshop on IMI for NE States” organized by Regiol Resource Centre for North-East States (RRC-NE) and UNICEF at Guwahati on Saturday.

Four immunisation rounds will be conducted for seven working days in 187 districts – 118 districts in 16 high priority States, 17 urban areas and 52 North-eastern districts – every month between October 2017 and January 2018. Under the IMI, the Central government aims to reach each and every child under two years and pregnt women with all available vaccines under Universal Immunization Programme by 2018.

During the iugural, RRC-NE Director Dr Bamin Tada highlighted the status of routine immunisation in the Northeast. Of the seven States, five are below the tiol average of 62%. Sikkim has the highest coverage at 83% and galand is the lowest in the region at 35%. A major concern in the region is lack of awareness among the people.

Tada encouraged media persons to play a key role in sensitising communities with accurate and timely information on the importance of achieving full immunisation.

In his speech, UNICEF’s Health Specialist for Northeast Dr C Ravichandran underlined the importance of vaccition. He also discussed on the objectives of the IMI and how it improves on Mission Indradhanush. The first four phases of Mission Indradhanush have been completed in 528 districts across the country. More than 2.47 crore children and around 67 lakh pregnt women have been vaccited under Mission Indradhanush so far.

Launched in December 2014 with an aim to fully immunise more than 90% of newborns by 2020, Mission Indradhanush programme made a substantial contribution in boosting the immunisation coverage from an average 1% per year (between 2009 and 2013) to 6.7% in 2015-16, as evidenced by the Integrated Child Health and Immunization Survey (INCHIS).

UNICEF’s Health Officer for North-eastern States Dr Maulik highlighted progress and achievement under Immunisation in India and North-eastern States. He also emphasised the milestones achieved in journey of immunisation programme since 1978. Progress has been made in full immunisation of children in the Northeast.

IMI aims to cover children and pregnt women who have missed out on routine dose of immunisation through focused efforts and systematic immunization drives. After the completion of proposed rounds, the States are expected to undertake measures to sustain the gains from IMI through activities like inclusion of IMI sessions in routine immunisation plans.

In order to make IMI a greater success, 11 other ministries/departments are coming together to support the immunisation drives, especially the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Panchayati Raj, Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Youth Affairs, among others.

The convergence of ground level workers of various departments like ASHA, ANMs, anganwadi workers, zila preraks under NULM, self-help groups will be ensured for successful implementation of the programme.

The half-day meet concluded after a series of technical presentations on Routine Immunization and Intensified Mission Indradhanush.

Following a session on “Role of Media in Routine Immunisation” by UNICEF Assam Communication Officer Tahseen Alam, media persons came up with recommendations on improving coverage of health and RI stories in their respective States.

The workshop was attended by jourlists and editors, representatives from Directorate of Information & Public Relations, officials from the Department of Health from all seven States and representatives from UNICEF and RRC-NE.

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