GoBarefoot: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India, and UNICEF organised an event to launch a comprehensive and holistic 360 degree communication campaign to enhance full immunisation rates and support the success of Mission Indradhanush across the country.
The event was organised to celebrate the country’s elimination of Maternal & Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) and Yaws, following the successful eradication of Polio in 2014.
The campaign was conceptualised on the basis of findings from a formative research carried out by UNICEF last year. The survey results highlighted that the fear of adverse effects following immunisation and low awareness about the benefits and where to go for vaccination cause children to miss out on timely shots. India has 70 lakh children less than 2-year-old who are either partially or completely unvaccinated.
UNICEF goodwill ambassador, Amitabh Bachchan, who has been associated with the polio eradication campaign for years, pledged his support for this campaign. The multimedia campaign reinforces the message of complete immunisation through the tag line: Paanch Saal, Saat Baar; stressing on the importance of seven visits for immunisation during the first five years of a child’s life.
Mission Indradhanush (MI) was started in 2015 to address the inequity in immunisation coverage and consolidate the health systems strengthening efforts. During phase one and two of MI, a total of 20 lakh sessions were organised, more than 37 lakh children were fully immunised, and about 37 lakh pregnant women were vaccinated with Tetanus Toxoid (TT) vaccines
The main objective of phase three of MI in 2016 is to accelerate the momentum by planning to target 50% of estimated 70 lakhs partially vaccinated or completely unvaccinated (missed) children. The plan is to reach out to 216 high-focused districts (HFDs) across 27 states/UTs for achieving 90% coverage earlier than 2020.
This phase will also focus on increasing full immunisation of children upto 5 years and to increase DPT booster coverage and if required, school campaigns may be conducted. In addition, pregnant women will be given TT injections.