The Narendra Modi government launched the Mission Indradhanush initiative to ensure that all children under the age of two and pregnant women are fully immunised with all available vaccines.
The Narendra Modi-led government’s vaccination programme Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) is one of the 12 best practices from around the world to be featured in a special issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) next month. The special issue is being brought out on the occasion of the fourth Partners’ Forum conference on infant and maternal health. PM Modi will deliver the keynote address at the conference, to be held in New Delhi on December 12-13.
PM Modi is the patron of the Partners’ Forum, which is short for The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (The Partnership, PMNCH), an alliance of over 1,000 organisations in 192 nations across the world. The conference is held every four years. This is the second time India is hosting the event. Exchanging knowledge is one of the key goals of the international meet.
“The focus of this conference is on cross-sectoral partnerships towards maternal and child health. IMI is a perfect example of that — this time we have written to 11 ministries to ensure no child is left out. We will showcase IMI during the conference but there is also the marketplace that we are setting up in the Vigyan Bhawan lawns where states will showcase their best practices,” health secretary Preeti Sudan told The Indian Express. She is also currently the global chair of the Forum.
IMI was launched by PM Modi in October last year. The special drive aims to cover every child in the country under the age of two years as well as pregnant women, who have been left uncovered under the routine immunisation program. Its special focus is on improving immunisation in cities and districts with low immunisation rates, in order to ensure full immunisation to over 90% by the end of December 2018. In all, the vaccination scheme covers 173 districts and 17 cities across the country.
The program also received high praise in a global report card by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for increasing vaccination coverage from to 6.7% annual from the earlier 1%. However, the report also pointed out that baby girls in India miss out on vaccinations.