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Poor awareness serious hurdle in achieving immunisation target

Poor awareness serious hurdle in achieving immunisation target

By Noor Mohammad


New Delhi, Sept 26 (UNI) As the Centre gears up to launch Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) campaign from October 7 to raise national full immunisation coverage from 70.8 per cent to 90 per cent by December 2018, lack of awareness and misconception about vaccines, especially among the marginalised sections, could prove serious challenges. As per a recent survey, as much as 37 per cent parents lack awareness about benefits of vaccination while other 32 per cent have apprehension of adverse effect. That means 69 per cent parents are unlikely to respond favourably to the immunisation drive unless they are properly educated about its benefits. According to findings of the recent National Family Health Survey, immunisation level at 52 per cent is the lowest among the segment of population without any education. It is at 60 per cent and 67 per cent among those with primary and secondary-level education respectively. Immunisation level also remains relatively low at 56% in the scheduled tribe population. The MI, launched in December 2014, has helped accelerate vaccination drive. While immunisation coverage increased by 1 per cent annually between 2009-10 and 2014-15,it recorded a jump of 6.7 per cent in 2015-16 after launch of the MI. Encouraged by the impressive result of the MI, the government has decided to advance the deadline for achieving 90 per cent immunisation coverage from 2020 to 2018. The drive is being intensified to ensure the target is achieved. The decision has been taken by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself. The Prime Minister’s Office has asked states to complete headcount surveys of the intended beneficiaries and focus on urban slums and districts that remain laggards in terms of coverage. Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha has been asked to monitor progress in the project. The drive will target children below two years of age and all pregnant women to save them from seven life-threatening diseases including measles and hepatitis B which can be prevented with vaccination. Immunisation coverage of 80 per cent has been targeted at the district level under the campaign. Full Immunisation coverage (FIC) is defined as receipt of one dose of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), three doses of oral polio vaccine (OPV) and three doses of diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (DPT) or Pentavalent, and one dose of measles containing vaccine.


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