Mission Indra Dhanush- Spearheading a healthier and disease free country.
The immunization programme in India was launched in 1978 under the aegis of ?Expanded Programme of Immunization? (EPI) by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. However, even after several decades, the Programme was only able to successfully immunize only 65% of the children in India. On noticing the failure of the programme and the consequent need for a more phased out operation for immunization, the Government of India, under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, launched ?Mission. Indra Dhanush? in 2014 with a view to achieve full immunization coverage for all children and pregnant women at a rapid pace. The immunization is targeted to treat several diseases such as Hepatitis B, Measles, Tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, tetanus, whooping cough, Haemophilus influenzae type B, Japanese encephalitis, Pneumonia, Rotavirus, Rubella, and Diphtheria. The Government has identified 201 high focus districts across the states of the country. A majority of these districts are concentrated in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh since these states have over 50% of India?s unvaccinated children and women. Through this scheme, the Government is providing vaccinations to all children up to the age of 2 years and pregnant women which will be free of cost. It aims to reach 100% immunization by 2020.
In 2017, the Government launched the Intensified Mission Indra Dhanush to expediate the immunization of these children and women in order to achieve the target of 100% immunization at an earlier date. Through this special mission, the Government has intensified the immunization drives and has conducted a seven day drive in 173 districts every month between October 2017 and January 2018. In continuing with this special drive and accelerated immunization, the Government will successfully reach 90% immunization by December, 2018. During this intensified programme, special attention is given to unserved/low coverage pockets in sub-centre and urban slums with migratory population.
This scheme has been largely successful in that it has seen an increase from 1% to over 6% immunization coverage compared to the EPI programme functioning in the earlier regime. More than 2.5 crore children and over 68 lakh pregnant women have been successfully immunized against deadly diseases.