In December 2014, Mission Indradhanush was launched for a targeted approach to immunisation in India, in a bid to change the tardy annual growth rate of 1 per cent. Between 2014 and 2018, India’s annual immunisation growth rate has risen to 4 per cent, with an unprecedented 16 per cent rise in the number of fully immunised children.
Official data on India’s immunisation coverage still stands at 62 per cent as per the National Family Health Survey 4 (2015-16). However, the Union Health Ministry’s internal data, presented recently at the 4th Partners’ Forum meeting in New Delhi, stands at 83 per cent, with just 2 per cent unimmunised children.
Concurrent monitoring is a combination of provider reporting and supervisor surveys done within the system to estimate how a programme is working. The concurrent data for 2014 showed a full immunisation coverage of 67%, according to documents available with The Indian Express.
The 83 per cent coverage figure is till November 2018. However, the target that the ministry had set for itself was to touch 90 per cent by December 2018, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an upgraded version of the mission during the run-up to the Gujarat Assembly elections.
For the “intensified” mission, 173 districts and 17 cities were chosen. That target may still be a little way off.
Mission Indradhanush was designed as a booster vaccination programme in 201 districts with low immunisation coverage. The word Indradhanush was chosen to represent the seven vaccines that were then included in the Universal Immunisation Programme against these seven diseases – tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus and measles. The number has since risen to 12 with the inclusion of vaccines against measles rubella, rotavirus, Haemophilus influenzae type B, pneumococcus and polio. In a select few states and districts, vaccines are also provided against Japanese Encephalitis.
Mission Indradhanush was featured earlier this month in The BMJ medical journal as one of the 12 global best practices in child health.