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Indradhanush Scheme

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  • Last Updated : 10 Aug, 2022

Introduction to Intensified Mission Indradhanush:

  • Mission Indradhanush was launched on 25 December 2014 by Union Health Minister JP Nadda.
  • The scheme was launched with the vision of achieving 90% complete immunization coverage in India by 2022.
  • The fundamental goal of the Mission Indradhanush is to cover all children under two years and pregnant women, those who are not covered under the Universal Immunization Programme(UIP)
  • The entire scheme comes under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare [MoHFW], which has reached targets with the help of other ministries such as the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, and Ministry of Youth Affairs.
  • Indradhanush refers to 7 colours as we know it, the government aims to provide immunity to children under 2 years of age from 7 vaccine-preventable diseases. those are Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Juvenile Tuberculosis, Polio, Hepatitis B, and Measles.

Historical background of the Immunization Program in India:

  • The Immunization Program in India was introduced in 1978 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as the “Extended Program for Immunization (EPI)”.
  • In 1985, this program was modified as a “Universal Immunization Program (UIP)”.
  • The Pulse Polio Immunization Program was launched in the financial year 1994-95 with an international initiative by a resolution of the World Health Assembly in 1988.

The Implementation Process of the Mission Indradhanush:

Immunization coverage between 2009 and 2013 has increased from 61 % to 65 % which means only a 1 % increase per year. Considering the slow progress of immunization, the Department of Health and Family Welfare has launched the Mission Indradhanush Scheme to expedite immunization coverage for children and pregnant women. The different phases of Mission Indradhanush are:

Phase I:

  • Launched as a weekly Special Intensified Immunization Drive in 2015, in 201 high-risk districts for four continuous months.

Phase II:

  • At this stage, Mission Indradhanush covered 352 districts of the country, of which 279 were medium-risk districts and the remaining 73 were high-risk districts.

Phase III:

  • The third phase of Mission Indradhanush was launched on 7 April 2016 covering 216 districts.

Phase IV:

  • The fourth phase of Mission Indradhanush was launched on 7 February 2017 covering the northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura, which was extended to the rest of the country in April 2017.

Intensified Mission Indradhanush:

  • In October 2017, it was introduced for urban regions.
  • Urban areas which have gaps in Mission Indradhanush received more attention under Intensified Mission Indradhanush.
    It concentrated on enhancing immunisation coverage in selected districts and cities.
  • The purpose was to guarantee that more than 90% of the population will be fully immunised by December 2018 rather than December 2020.

Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0:

  • The Central Government launched the Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0 nationwide on December 2, 2019, by Dr Harshavardhan under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The mission will focus specifically on those who have been left out of previous immunization drives, including dropouts and resistant families, and on sparsely populated areas in tribal and urban areas.
  • Indradhanush 2.0 has been intensified to ensure children and pregnant women in the identified districts and blocks from December 2019 to March 2020, covering 272 districts in 27 states and 652 blocks in hard-to-reach areas and tribal populations in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
  • Mission Indradhanush 2.0 aims to achieve the sustainable development goal of ending preventable infant mortality by 2030.
  • Mission Indradhanush 2.0 is a countrywide vaccination drive program to remember to check the 25-year Pulse Polio program from 2019 to 2020.
  • The mission aims to achieve vaccination coverage for 90 % of children under the age of two by 2020.

Intensified Mission Indradhanush 3.0:

  • Mission Indradhanush 3.0 completed its two rounds starting on February 22, 2021, and March 22, 2021.
  • Mission Indradhanush 3.0 mainly focuses on children under 2 years of age and pregnant women who have lost their vaccine doses during the Covid-19 epidemic. They will be identified and vaccinated in these two rounds of Mission Indradhanush 3.0.
  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare conducted a pre-identified 250 districts in urban areas in 29 states where many children and pregnant women have lost their immunity due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
  • According to the guidelines released for Mission Indradhanush 3.0, districts are classified as 313 to reflect low risk; 152 are identified as medium risk and 250 as high-risk districts of the 29 states in the country.
  • Mission Indradhanush 3.0 is also targeting the beneficiaries from migrant areas and areas that may be difficult to reach as they may have lost their vaccine doses during Covid-19.

Intensified Mission Indradhanush 4.0:

  • Intensified Mission Indradhanush 4.0 was launched in February 2022, covering three rounds with a total of 416 districts in 33 states / UTs across the country (including 75 districts identified under Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav).
  • These districts are identified based on vaccine coverage, according to the 5th report of the latest National Family Health Survey based on the Health Management Information System data.
  • Indradhanush 4.0 were designed to fill the gaps in the three rounds of Mission created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Mission Indradhanush 4.0 mainly focused on children under two years of age and pregnant women who have not been vaccinated and partially vaccinated by Routine Immunization Services (RI).
  • In the first round, from February to April 2022, 11 states conducted Mission Indradhanush 4.0, namely Assam, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, and Chhattisgarh.
  • The remaining 22 states held rounds from April to May 2022.

Achievements so far by Mission Indradhanush:

  • As of data available in April 2021, a total of 3.86 crore children and 96.8 lakh pregnant women have been vaccinated at various stages of Mission Indradhanush.
  • Smallpox has been eradicated from the world and polio has disappeared from many countries. India was declared polio-free on March 27, 2014, through immunization programs conducted by the Government of India.
  • Neonatal Tetanus was eliminated from the state of Assam through the Mission Indradhanush vaccination drive.
  • The rotavirus vaccine was first introduced in India in March 2016 through the Mission Immunization Program.
  • In September 2018, Assam achieved 100% immunity in the Mission Indradhanush program.
  • Referring to the government’s Integrated Childhood and Immunization survey, Mission Indradhanush’s initial two phases spurred a 6.7 per cent year-on-year increase in immunization coverage.
  • Intensified Mission Indradhanush shows an 18.5 percent increase in total immunization coverage based on the 4th report of the National Family Health Survey.
  • The complete immunity of children aged 12 to 23 months has been increased from 62% to 76.4% based on the 5th report of NFHS.
  • By the year 2022, a total of 10 phases of Mission Indradhanush have been completed with full immunization coverage in 701 districts across the country since the inception of the scheme.
  • Mission Indradhanush has been identified as one of the major schemes under Gram Swaraj Abhiyan and Extended Gram Swaraj Abhiyan.

Challenges faced under the implementation of Mission Indradhanush:

  • Vaccination causes fever and parents do not like to sit at home to take care of the children, which is why poor and illiterate people are not ready to vaccinate their children and they are postponing daily vaccinations for their children.
  • The biggest hurdle is migrants who speak different languages, making it very difficult to persuade them to vaccinate their children. Immunizations are not a priority for some migrant workers.
  • More than 28% of children are not vaccinated because their guardians do not think their children need immunizations.
  • Remote rural people do not know where to vaccinate their children

Way Forward:

  • The Central Government, State Government, and NGOs should work together to achieve the goal of complete vaccination coverage in the country.
  • All the states should work comprehensively at various levels in coordination with the district administration, panchayats, and urban local bodies to achieve 100% immunity in the country.
  • Awareness of immunity is essential because life is a precious than anything, but unfortunately, even central, state and NGOs do not conduct that kind of awareness program.
  • All state governments should have a meticulous level of the campaign plan to reach full immunity in all remote areas such as high-risk areas, urban slums, construction sites, brick kilns, hilly areas with tribal populations, and hard-to-reach areas.
  • Local bodies and medical departments should develop awareness and demand for immunization services through need-based communication methodologies and social mobilization exercises.
  • The Central and State Governments should provide intensified training to health officers and frontline health workers for quality immunization services.

Related Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:

1Q. Briefly Describe the Mission Indradhanush?

Answer:

  • Mission Indradhanush was launched on 25 December 2014 by Union Health Minister JP Nadda.
  • The scheme was launched with the vision of achieving 90% complete immunization coverage in India by 2022.
  • Indradhanush aims to provide immunity to children under 2 years of age from 7 vaccine-preventable diseases. those are Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Juvenile Tuberculosis, Polio, Hepatitis B, and Measles.
  • The fundamental goal of the mission Indradhanush is to cover all children under two years and pregnant women, those who are not covered under the UIP.
  • The entire scheme comes under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare [MoHFW].

2Q. What are the causes that motivated the government to launch the Mission Indradhanush?

Answer: The Department of Health and Family Welfare has launched the Mission Indradhanush Scheme to expedite immunization coverage for children and pregnant women. As immunization coverage between 2009 and 2013 has increased from 61 % to 65 % which means only a 1 % increase per year. 

3Q. What were the different immunization programs in India that launched before Mission Indradhanush?

Answer:

  • The Immunization Program in India was introduced in 1978 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as the “Extended Program for Immunization [EPI]”.
  • In 1985, this program was modified as a “Universal Immunization Program [UIP]”.
  • The Pulse Polio Immunization Program was launched in the financial year 1994-95 with an international initiative by a resolution of the World Health Assembly in 1988.

4Q. Briefly explain the recently launched Mission Indradhanush 4.0 scheme?

Answer: 

  • Intensified Mission Indradhanush 4.0 was launched in February 2022, with a total of 416 districts in 33 states / UTs across the country (including 75 districts identified under Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav).
  • These districts are identified based on vaccine coverage according to the 5th report of the latest National Family Health Survey based on the Health Management Information System data.
  • Indradhanush 4.0 were designed to fill the gaps in the three rounds of Mission created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In the first round, from February to April 2022, 11 states conducted Mission Indradhanush 4.0, namely Assam, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, and Chhattisgarh.
  • The remaining 22 states held rounds from April to May 2022.

5Q. What are the achievements reached by the government through Mission Indradhanush?

Answer:

  • As of data available in April 2021, a total of 3.86 crore children and 96.8 lakh pregnant women have been vaccinated at various stages of Mission Indradhanush.
  • Smallpox has been eradicated from the world and polio has disappeared from many countries. India was declared polio-free on March 27, 2014, through immunization programs conducted by the Government of India. 
  • Neonatal Tetanus was eliminated from the state of Assam through the Mission Indradhanush vaccination drive.
  • The rotavirus vaccine was first introduced in India in March 2016 through the Mission Immunization Program.
  • In September 2018, Assam achieved 100% immunity in the Mission Indradhanush program. 
     

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