Government targets 95 immunization by 2016 says JP Nadda

Health and Immunisation Conference, jointly organised by CII and Union Health Ministry addresses the challenges and opportunities related to the immunization initiatives in India.
Government targets 95 immunization by 2016 says JP Nadda

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister JP Nadda today said that the government is targeting to immunize 95 percent children population in the next 1.5 years and it is ready for all types of linkages and partnerships with the Industry, with Innovators.

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) here today organized the 1st Health and Immunisation Conference on the theme of Innovations aiding Universal Immunisation Programme. The conference addressed the challenges and opportunities related to the immunization initiatives in India.

Nadda said that the National Health Mission (NHM), comprising of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM), aims towards providing accessible, affordable, accountable, and effective primary healthcare facilities, especially to the rural population of the country with a particular emphasis on poor and vulnerable sections of the population.

The NHM encompasses programmes to cater to requirements of pregnant women, children and communicable as well as non-communicable diseases. The Minister added that reducing maternal and child mortality are the foremost goals of National Health Mission, which has significantly fostered plans for child health in decentralised manner up-to district level. Steady progress in curbing child deaths has been achieved. India’s Under 5 Mortality Rate declined from 126 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 49 per 1,000 live births in 2013, the Minister informed.

The Health Minister said that Mission Indradhanush has been able to fill in the gap in fully immunising children who have been left unvaccinated or are partially vaccinated under the routine immunisation programme. Three rounds have been completed and the fourth round will start from July 7, Nadda said. The Minister added that of all the methods of preventing the under-5 mortality, immunization is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions for protecting children from life threatening conditions, which are preventable.

He said that during these immunization rounds, 56.6 lakh children have been vaccinated and a total of 14.4 lakh children were fully vaccinated. Also, a total of 15.7 lakh pregnant women were vaccinated with tetanus toxoid vaccine during these three rounds. Nadda also said that cold chain network in the country has been the backbone of the Immunization Programme to ensure that right quantity/ quality of vaccines reach the target population.

Symbolizing a synergy of policy between the government and the Industry in the Health Sector, Nadda, said, “ Cold Chain logistics and management can be developed for far flung areas and this is where we need innovations from the private sector. These innovations must be cost effective and affordable.”

The Minister visited the Innovation Gallery which showcased innovators from across the world working in the space of strengthening cold chain technologies and logistics, reflecting a critical cog of the wheel for delivering successful immunization programmes. The Exhibitors in the Innovation gallery included, Quascenta, Berlinger, Intertek and Godrej.

CK Mishra, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Managing Director, National Rural Health Mission pointed out that “solution lies in innovative solutions. In our endeavour towards achieving affordable and quality healthcare, we need to innovate with technologies within the cold chain management system, and target to vaccinate every child.”

Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman, CII National Council on Healthcare and Chairman and Managing Director, Medanta, emphasized that “India needs to innovate to ensure that its future generations can enjoy health benefits at a very small price. Immunisation is one such tool, and there must be no hesitation to integrate the efforts of the government and the Industry to overcome challenges of immunization”.

Earlier, Sir Richard Feachem, Director, Global Health Group & Professor of Global Health, University of California (San Francisco and Berkeley) was the guest of Honour and highlighted that “India is poised to take a lead and become the vaccine producer of the world with over 60 per cent of the demand for vaccines being met by Indian Vaccine Producers. It must now move rapidly to become vaccine innovators of the world.”

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