Goonj of healthy Guj…: Rupani’s ‘Indradhanush’ of hope

Ahmedabad: Healthy children make a healthy nation, feels Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. While launching the immunization programme Indradhanush 2.0, in Ahmedabad, on Tuesday, Rupani said that immunization success is very important since health is imperative for a strong nation. For this, he added, children should be healthy.

The aim of Indradhanush 2.0 is to protect children under the age of two years and pregnant women from seven preventable diseases. The Central government has planned to cover 272 districts of 20 states and ensure that children under two in all these states are immunized and vaccinated. The programme is to be completed by March 2020.

Rupani on the launch of the immunization programme said that the state government has earmarked Rs 200 crore for this project. To ensure the success of Indradhanush 2.0, the health department will put up booths in each and every corner of every village, town and city so that everyone is are covered. Immunization and vaccination increases children’s resistance to disease, and this will make them more healthy, he said.

The state government has recently launched a health check-up for children in primary schools. It will cover 1.59 crore children under the age of 17. If children get timely vaccinations seven times before they turn five, they will be protected against Tuberculosis (TB), Polio, Diphtheria, jaundice, measles, and rubella. Today, as Gujarat has become TB- and polio-free, we hope to see all children free from other diseases as well, the Chief Minister said.

He appealed to all citizens to take responsibility for the success of the immunization programme.

On Tuesday evening, before launching the immunization programme, he took a walk in the streets of Kanjinagar area in Shahibaug, and personally appealed to parents of infants to take advantage of the new programme and have their children immunized.

This programme is going to address seven preventable diseases, and Indradhanush (rainbow) has seven colours. So it is an apt name, he said.

This project was launched in 2014 by the then Union Health Minister JP Nadda. It was intended to cover infants across the country in a phased manner, so each and every child is covered and protected from these diseases. This programme was launched because the government of India felt that many children are either not vaccinated or immunized, or are partially vaccinated or immunized, leaving them exposed to some preventable diseases.

According to National Family Health Survey 4 (2015–16), immunization coverage in India was 62 per cent. The government’s intention is for 100 per cent coverage, Chief Minister Rupani said.