Vaccination coverage jumps to a new high in state

The vaccination coverage in UP has shown much improvement over the past four months, thanks to certain initiatives of the Centre and the state government.

As India has declared 2012 as the year for intensifying the routine immunisation programmes, the four special vaccination drives conducted in the state from June to September and several initiatives taken by the state government have taken the immunisation coverage in the state from an all-time low of 45.3 per cent in 2010-11 to 66.5 per cent — as reported till October.

While these two figures may not be directly comparable due to difference in methodology and treatment of survey, what is obvious from the jump is that the coverage of vaccination for infants in the state has definitely been on the up side.

ST Hussain, Director General of Family Welfare, said, "The coverage percentage is expected to increase further." Experts point out that because UP has largest number of child population, an increase in immunisation coverage of the state will also increase the national percentage of immunisation. Most number of child death also happen in the first two years of birth and proper vaccination will also pull down the infant and child mortality rate of the country drastically.

The Annual Health Survey (AHS) covered nine states, in which, all the states except UP had "at least half of their children aged 12-23 months fully immunised." The average immunisation coverage for the country is 61 per cent.

In the past six months,the state government has improved its monitoring of immunisation programmes. Apart from the monthly video conferencing where the principal secretary of the department constantly reviews the programme, review meetings are also conducted by the CMOs each week. For the first time, NRHM officials also conducted a division level review meeting.

Under NRHM, for the past three years, the state has also been conducting close monitoring of these RI sessions with the help of health partners like UNICEF and National Polio Surveillance Project (NPSP— a WHO collaboration).

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