Strengthening Routine immunization (RI) is crucial to achieving polio free status. Each year full immunization prevents approximately 0.4 million under-five deaths from vaccine preventable diseases in India. But many children miss the benefits of childhood vaccinations every year. A majority of those missing the opportunity are from among underserved and marginalized populations. Being unvaccinated keeps them at highest risk of catching life-threatening childhood diseases.
To create awareness on the urgency to vaccinate every eligible child and intensify efforts to improve RI coverage, the Government of India has launched Special Immunization Weeks. Special Immunization Weeks are being conducted to improve coverage especially in low coverage pockets/Mobile, underserved population, urban slums/ per-urban areas & high risk population. This was stated by DC Kangra C. Paulrasu while presiding over a special intersectoral meeting for review of health programmes.
The coverage in the special rounds has increased from 48 sessions in first round April to 130 sessions in second round in June 2013 in the district. Dr. R.K. Sood (Epidemiologist cum Programme Officer) shared that the strategy for Special Immunization Week includes micro-planing with identification of session site and attached high risk areas, beneficiary estimate of under-2 children and pregnant women, requirement of vaccines, demand projection and due list. He appreciated the efforts of frontline staff – Health workers and anganwari workers who have been doing a yeoman job by reaching out to the underserved through these campaigns.
The aim is to ensure that not even a single child is left out. Preparations are in full swing for the current round which starts today.