Ministry of Health and Family and Welfare will be celebrating a Health Week starting from today, to mark the World Health Day falling on 7th April 2016. During this week the Ministry will launch several initiatives including an awareness campaign on family planning. The Ministry will also launch initiatives on diabetes, TB and other communicable and non-communicable diseases. The Ministry is also organizing a national consultation on setting up of National eHealth Authority (NeHA) to strengthen the health systems.As part of this celebration J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, announced the implementation of third phase of Mission Indradhanush from 7th April, here today.
J P Nadda said that this initiative was launched on 25th December 2014 as a special nationwide initiative to cover all left out and missed out children and pregnant women with the protection of seven vaccines. This has been expanded to cover provisioning of Vitamin A, ORS packets and Zinc tablets. Two phases of the special drive have been completed, he informed, under which more than 1.48crore children and 38 lakh pregnant women have been additionally immunized. He added that of these nearly 39 lakh children and more than 20 lakh pregnant women have been additionally fully immunized. Across 21.3 lakh sessions held through the country in high and mid-priority districts, the Health Minister stated that more than 3.66crore antigens have been administered.
The Health Minister held video conferencing with Health Ministers from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka, and Principal Health secretaries and Mission Directors from the rest of the 27 States/UTS. J P Nadda urged them to put into practice the lessons learnt during the past two phases of Mission Indradhanush for sustained gains. The Minister stated that this would not only help in increasing the immunization coverage in the states but would contribute to strengthening the health systems. He congratulated the states for their cooperation and collective effort, and the Health Ministers and Secretaries for their personal involvement and constant monitoring of the immunization drive.
Phase-3 of Mission Indradhanush of this special full immunization drive, Nadda informed will be carried out in 216 select districts in 27 states/UTs. Four intensified immunization rounds will be conducted for seven days in each between April and July 2016, in these districts. These 216 districts have been identified on the basis of estimates where full immunization coverage is less than 60 per cent and have high dropout rates.
Flagging off the third phase of Mission Indradhanush, Union Health Minister stated that “Mission Indradhanush has witnessed unparalleled participation and cooperation from health workers at the grassroot levelin improving the immunization coverage in difficult areas. The scale and reach of the initiative is unmatched and states have shown massive commitment in coming forth and creating awareness at all levels.
Nadda added that the milestones achieved through the programme have led to health systems strengthening which provides us a good opportunity for the introduction of additional life-saving vaccines and ensuring the reach of the immunization program to each and every child in the country.