INTENSIFIED MISSION INDRADHANUSH (IMI) 5.0
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Context: Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 5.0, launched by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, is a crucial initiative aimed at enhancing routine immunization coverage across India.
- IMI 5.0 aims to ensure that routine immunization services reach children up to 5 years of age and pregnant women across all districts in India. The campaign focuses on improving Measles and Rubella vaccination coverage with the goal of eliminating Measles and Rubella by 2023.
- The campaign is conducted across all states and union territories, except Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Punjab. These states faced delays in starting the campaign due to unavoidable circumstances and plan to conclude the 3rd round in November 2023.
- IMI 5.0 encouraged participation from Janpratinidhi (people's representatives) and social media influencers across all states/UTs to raise public awareness and encourage families to visit vaccination centres and ensure children and pregnant women receive missed doses.
- Since 2014, 11 phases of Mission Indradhanush have been completed, with the 12th phase ongoing. Cumulatively, 5.06 crore children and 1.25 crore pregnant women have been vaccinated under the campaign till the provided date.
Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 5.0
- Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 5.0 is the fifth phase of Mission Indradhanush, which was launched in 2014 by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, to achieve full immunization coverage for all children and pregnant women in the country.
- The previous phases of IMI covered children up to 2 years of age and were conducted in selected high-priority districts. IMI 5.0 is the first time that the campaign is being conducted across all the districts in the country and includes children up to 5 years of age.
- The campaign aims to enhance immunization coverage for vaccines provided under the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP), including BCG, OPV, IPV, Pentavalent, Rotavirus, PCV, Measles-Rubella, and others.
- Special emphasis is placed on improving the coverage of Measles and Rubella vaccines. These vaccines are crucial in preventing congenital anomalies and disabilities in children.
- IMI 5.0 utilizes the U-WIN digital platform for Routine Immunization. U-WIN is a web-based application that facilitates online booking, tracking, and monitoring of immunization services. It is implemented in pilot mode across all districts in the country.
- IMI 5.0 plays a crucial role in achieving the goal of Measles and Rubella elimination by 2023. By focusing on improving the coverage of Measles and Rubella vaccines, the campaign directly contributes to reducing the incidence of these diseases.
- IMI 5.0 is instrumental in ensuring universal immunization coverage for all children and pregnant women in the country. By reaching out to these vulnerable populations, the campaign helps in building immunity against various vaccine-preventable diseases.
- Immunization is recognized as one of the most cost-effective public health interventions. By providing vaccines and preventing diseases, IMI 5.0 saves lives and reduces the economic burden on individuals and the healthcare system caused by vaccine-preventable diseases.
- By increasing immunization coverage, especially among vulnerable and marginalized sections of society, IMI 5.0 helps in reducing the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases. This reduction is not only in terms of the number of cases but also the associated morbidity and mortality rates.
- IMI 5.0 aligns with the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being) by promoting health and well-being for all at all ages. Additionally, it contributes to SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities) by addressing health disparities among different sections of society.
Status of Immunization in India
●India has significantly improved its immunization coverage, as indicated by data from the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5). Full immunization coverage among children aged 12-23 months increased from 62% in NFHS-4 (2015-16) to 74% in NFHS-5 (2019-20). This demonstrates substantial progress in ensuring that a larger proportion of children receive the necessary vaccines.
●The coverage of the measles and rubella vaccine also saw a notable increase, rising from 81% to 88% between NFHS-4 and NFHS-5. This signifies a focused effort on improving immunization against Measles and Rubella, key components in preventing these diseases.
●India's certification as polio-free by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2014 is a significant achievement. This demonstrates the country's successful efforts in eradicating polio, a debilitating and potentially fatal disease, through widespread vaccination campaigns and surveillance systems.
●India has introduced new vaccines such as Rotavirus, PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine), and IPV (Inactivated Polio Vaccine) under the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP). These vaccines are crucial in protecting children from diseases like diarrhoea, pneumonia, and polio, contributing to the overall reduction of child mortality and morbidity rates.
●India began administration of COVID-19 vaccines on 16 January 2021. As of 4 March 2023, India has administered over 2.2 billion doses overall, including first, second and precautionary doses of the currently approved vaccines.
Challenges Faced in Implementing IMI 5.0
- Vaccine Hesitancy: One of the major challenges faced was vaccine hesitancy among certain communities. Misinformation and mistrust in vaccines posed significant obstacles to achieving high immunization coverage.
- Inaccessible Areas: Reaching remote and inaccessible areas, especially in hilly or conflict-prone regions, proved to be a logistical challenge. The lack of proper roads and transportation made it difficult to deliver vaccines on time.
- Limited Healthcare Resources: Some regions faced a shortage of healthcare workers and resources. Overburdened healthcare facilities struggled to cope with the additional workload of immunization campaigns.
- Cultural and Religious Beliefs: Cultural and religious beliefs sometimes clash with the idea of vaccination. Sensitizing communities while respecting their cultural values was a delicate balance that had to be maintained.
Way forward to address the challenges and achieve full immunization coverage in India
- Vaccine Advocacy: Increasing awareness and trust in vaccines is fundamental. Engaging in effective communication strategies, involving influential community figures, leveraging media, and addressing myths and misconceptions are crucial steps. Public education campaigns can disseminate accurate information about vaccines and their benefits, dispelling any doubts.
- Vaccine Management: Ensuring a steady supply chain and minimizing wastage are vital. Strengthening the cold chain system, implementing quality control measures, and utilizing digital tools for tracking and monitoring vaccine distribution can enhance efficiency. Real-time data analytics can aid in predicting demand and preventing shortages.
- Vaccine Access: Universal and equitable access to vaccination services is essential. Improving health infrastructure, deploying an adequate workforce, and enhancing logistics, especially in remote or underserved areas, can facilitate access. Providing incentives or support, such as transportation assistance, can encourage beneficiaries to avail of vaccination services.
- Vaccine Monitoring: Robust surveillance and reporting systems are critical for timely response to outbreaks. Capacity building among health workers, enhancing laboratory capabilities, and improving coordination among authorities are essential. Utilizing data for decision-making ensures a proactive response to emerging health threats.
- IMI 5.0 is a crucial initiative aimed at enhancing routine immunization coverage across India. It will help to protect children and pregnant women from vaccine-preventable diseases and to achieve the goal of Measles and Rubella elimination by 2023. However, there are some challenges that need to be addressed to ensure full immunization coverage for all. Therefore, there is a need for concerted efforts from all stakeholders, including the government, health workers, communities, media, etc., to make IMI 5.0 a success. Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 5.0: Enhancing Routine Immunization Coverage in India
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Q. What are the key objectives of Mission Indradhanush, and how has it contributed to improving immunization coverage in India? Discuss the strategies and challenges faced during its implementation, highlighting the impact it has had on public health outcomes in the country.