Health of children and pregnant women is a priority of the Govt: Dr Harsh Vardhan

With the launch of Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0, India has the opportunity to achieve further reductions in deaths among children under five years of age

Harsh Vardhan, Mission Indradhanush, Union Minister, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Development Goal, Universal Immunisation Program, UIP, Regional Outreach Bureaux, ROB, Union Health Minister

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare. inaugurated a special community outreach programme on Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI 2.0) at Shastri Park, Delhi, through a video message. The three-day event is being organised by Song & Drama Division of Bureau of Outreach & Communication (BOC), under Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.

A video message of Dr Harsh Vardhan was shared with the participants in which he emphasised the importance of immunisation of children and pregnant women as part of the IMI 2.0 and the high priority being accorded by Government of India for achieving Full Immunisation Coverage (FIC) targets. IMI was launched from Vadnagar in 2017 and immunisation has been given a strong push in the Gram Swaraj Abhiyaan and Extended Gram Swaraj Abhiyaan. A more expansive version, IMI 2.0, is being carried out in 272districts across 27 States/UTs and 650 blocks of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh across 109 districts since December 2019, he added.

"While we have targets to achieve 90% immunisation coverage target, we should all aim to ensure that not even one child is deprived of a vaccine against vaccine preventable diseases. Especially when we have a basket of vaccines as part of our routine Universal Immunisation Program (UIP),” Dr Harsh Vardhan said in his video message. “With the launch of Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0, India has the opportunity to achieve further reductions in deaths among children under five years of age, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of ending preventable child deaths by 2030,” he added. 

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also added that currently we are providing vaccines against 12 vaccines preventable diseases, nationally against 10 diseases (Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, Rubella, severe form of Childhood Tuberculosis, Rotavirus diarrhea, Hepatitis B and Meningitis & Pneumonia caused by Hemophilus Influenza type Band) and sub-nationally against two diseases (Pneumococcal Pneumonia and Japanese Encephalitis); of which Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine is in the process of expansion while JE vaccine is provided only in the endemic districts.

The Union Health Minister stated the Government has made immunisation a people's and a social movement. He made a strong appeal to all those present in the audience and the countrymen and women to own the programme in order to make all efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality.

He also thanked the efforts put on by Bureau of Outreach & Communications who are relentlessly contributing through their Regional Outreach Bureaux (ROB) across the States/UTs in enhancing the awareness and informing people about the importance of Immunisation.