*Representational Picture Courtesy:images.indianexpress.com
Routine Immunization programme provides vaccination against nine vaccine preventable childhood diseases (Diphtheria, Whooping cough, Tetanus, Polio, Tuberculosis, Measles and Hepatitis B, Pneumonia and Meningitis). Evidence shows that unimmunized and partially immunized children are most susceptible to childhood diseases and disability and have a 3 to 6 times higher risk of death as compared to fully immunized children.
In last 10 years, although vaccination coverage of Jharkhand has increased to 61.9% (NFHS-4) from 8 %, there are still pockets with low immunization coverage. An estimated 300,000 infants in Jharkhand are still missing out on basic vaccines. Recent evaluations have indicated that the major reasons for no immunization or partial immunization are a lack of awareness among parents about the benefits of vaccination, fear of adverse events following immunization and operational reasons such as non-availability of vaccines or vaccinators during immunization sessions.
To improve the full immunization coverage in the country from the current 65% to more than 90% through immunization campaigns, Government of India is launching Phase-4 of Mission Indradhanush (MI) from 7th April 2017 across 179 districts in 19 States. Eight of these 179 districts are in Jharkhand.
The Government of Jharkhand will launch Mission Indradhanush on 7th April (World Health day) in six out of eight districts which have 95,239 unimmunized or partially immunized children out of total. These six districts are Pakur (8372), Sahibganj (10962), Godda (13167), Giridih (30392), Deoghar (12888), Palamu (19458). In the remaining two districts of Garwah (15572) and Dhanbad (20569) the campaign will start from 7th May 2017 due to ongoing Japanese Encephalitis (JE) immunization campaign.
As per the GoI Guidelines, in addition to improving the full immunization coverage, focus will also be on increasing the immunization coverage of second dose of measles and JE, and booster dose of DPT and OPV which are given after 1st year of life of the child.
Duration of campaign
The 4th phase of campaign will start from April/May and end it July/August 2017. The fourth phase will comprise of four rounds, with a gap of at least 4 weeks between two rounds. Each round will beconducted for up to 7 days, beginning on Monday.
• Areas with vacant sub-centres: No ANM posted for more than 3 months
• Villages/ areas with three or more consecutive missed RI sessions: ANMs on long leave or other similar reason
• High risk areas identified by the polio eradication programme where RI services are not being given or are poorly covered. These include populations living in areas such as urban slums with migration,nomadic sites, brick kilns, construction sites, other migrant settlements (fisherman villages, riverine areas with shifting populations etc)
• Underserved and hard-to-reach populations (forested and tribal populations, etc)
• Areas with low routine immunization (RI) coverage (pockets with recent measles or other vaccine preventable disease outbreaks)
• Small villages, hamlets, “tolas” clubbed with another village for RI sessions and not having independent RI sessions.
The targeted beneficiaries are children under two years of age and pregnant women. However, children above two years of age seeking vaccination at any Indradhanush session will not be denied due vaccines.
Timings, Place of sessions
The session sites will be operational from 9 am to 4 pm at Anganwadi centre/other selected place which is nearer to community in selected areas. All vaccines will be provided at session site including newly launched pentavalent vaccine – free of cost.
At places where routine immunization coverage is weak and the small number of beneficiaries does not warrant an independent session, as in peri-urban areas, scattered slums, brick kilns, construction sites etc mobile sessions will be conducted.
Adverse Event after vaccination
Fever may develop after vaccination which is self-limiting and can be treated by paracetamol. Vaccines are usually safe. Most of the reported cases have been found to be due to other causes after investigation.