Speaking at the function, the Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare J P Nadda said, “We need to remain vigilant and maintain the population immunity and sensitive surveillance till global polio eradication happens as poliovirus is still circulating in other parts of the world which may reinfect us.” Nadda further stated that the Government is making all the possible efforts to protect children from diseases. “It is important that all vaccines under the programme reache to every last child of our country,” he added. In order to mitigate the risk of poliovirus importation, the immunity against polio infection is maintained through National and Sub-National Polio rounds along with sustained high quality polio surveillance. To provide additional protection to our children, Government of India has also introduced the injectable Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) into its routine immunisation program, Nadda stated.
J P Nadda pointed out that Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) is focusing on to protect children from more diseases than ever before and has introduced several new vaccines like Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine, Rotavirus vaccine, and Measles-Rubella in the recent past. “To further strengthen and accomplish our goals we have launched Mission Indradhanush and encouraged by its success, we have recently intensified the mission in October, 2017 to achieve more than 90% full immunisation coverage by 2018,” Shri Nadda elaborated.
Nadda further informed that strengthening of immunisation programme has significantly contributed to the decline of Infant Mortality Rate from 39 in 2014 to 34 per 1000 live births in 2016 (as per SRS reports).
The Health Minister also appreciated the efforts of State Governments and the supporting organisations like WHO, UNICEF and Rotary International etc., for strengthening the efforts of the Government not only for polio programme but also for other initiatives in immunisation. He also applauded the efforts of the thousands of volunteers, frontline workers, health officials across thestatesfor their tireless efforts in keeping the country polio-free. Also present at the function were Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW), senior officers of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and representatives of development partners.