Health Minister J P Nadda today asked members of Red Cross to actively participate in the social and economic programmes of the government, including its deworming initiative and 'Mission Indradhanush' which is a special drive to vaccinate children.
Health Minister J P Nadda today asked members of Red Cross to actively participate in the social and economic programmes of the government, including its deworming initiative and ‘Mission Indradhanush’ which is a special drive to vaccinate children.
Observing that the prime objective of Red Cross is to bridge the gap between the government’s schemes and the community, he also stressed on the need to enhance the quality of first aid training for strengthening service delivery.
“I exhort volunteers of Red Cross and St John and junior and youth Red Cross members of all the states specially Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to actively participate in this mission (Indradhanush) and contribute to making a ‘Swasth Bharat’,” Nadda said.
He was speaking after presiding over the business session of the annual general meeting of the Indian Red Cross Society and St John Ambulance (India).
Mission Indradhanush, depicting seven colours of the rainbow, provides vaccination for seven preventable diseases namely–diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and Hepatitis B. Four new vaccinations have been added to the immunisation programme.
Noting that 2.70 crore children are born every year and 90 lakh are not immunised, Nadda said one cannot talk about a healthy India without addressing this issue. He said his ministry has been able to provide total immunisation to 54 lakh children and 55 lakh mothers.
“We increased our immunisation capacity by 5-7 per cent. This year, we are going to increase our capacity by reaching 65 lakh children,” he said.
Nadda said the India Red Cross can play a very important role in the deworming initiative of the government that aims to protect more than 24 crore children between the ages of 1-19 years from intestinal worms.
He claimed by giving children one tablet a year, in 2015, around 8 crore children were administered deworming tablets while in 2016, 21 crore chidren were administered the tablets due to which dropout from schools were reduced. Next year, the target is to administer it to 40 crore children, he said.
Earlier, while presiding over the ceremonial session of the AGM, President Pranab Mukherjee complimented the Red Cross for its “invaluable” work during disasters and in crisis management, especially in times of “man-made disasters”.