Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0 to be launched
NOIDA, 29 November 2019 – The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in association with UNICEF today held a national workshop with Editors and senior journalists representing prominent national and state media networks on Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 2.0 being launched from December 2019 – March 2020.
The day-long workshop focused on the importance of IMI 2.0 and the need for media partnership, particularly for boosting the coverage in low performing areas and among vulnerable populations in 272 High Priority Districts in 27 states and 670 blocks in 109 districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. IMI 2.0 is the second phase of Intensified Mission Indradhanush launched by the Prime Minister of India in October 2017 to attain 90 per cent immunization coverage in India by 2020.
Speaking at the workshop, Dr S.K. Sikdar, Additional Commissioner (Immunization), MoHFW, said, “Despite clear evidence around the power of vaccines to save lives and control diseases, many children are missing out on immunization, putting them and their communities at risk of disease and deadly outbreaks. This is unacceptable in a world where affordable, lifesaving vaccines exist. Media is an important partner in achieving the goal of 90 per cent immunization coverage by disseminating critical information on vaccination and encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated, and countering myths and misconceptions around vaccines.”
IMI 2.0 will focus on improved microplanning, intense monitoring, mobilizing communities and strengthened vaccination systems. There will also be focus on tracking and updating due lists to identify children less than two years and pregnant women for vaccination. Help of non-health sectors is being sought to deal with social barriers and gaps in knowledge in communities to create a movement for vaccinating every child and pregnant mother.
Senior representatives and experts from MoHFW, World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF updated the journalists representing leading national and regional media from the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, on the status of immunization in India.
The journalists were introduced to IMI guidelines, sensitivities of reporting on immunization, best reporting practices and fact-checking in the era of social media where fake news and misinformation travels fast.
Intensification of Mission Indradhanush has led to an accelerated increase in the full immunization coverage; however, prevailing disparities and inequities have limited the scope of country’s progress towards goals of 90 per cent full immunization coverage.
The media workshop is part of an effort by the MoHFW to bring on-board partners to help increase immunization coverage particularly in High Priority Districts so that each and every child is protected against vaccine preventable diseases.