Now, a tracking system for immunisation in India: Azad

August 2nd, 2011 - 8:56 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) In a major stride towards ensuring that children and pregnant women get basic immunisation, the government has a tracking system for vaccination in place, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said here Tuesday.

“We have introduced name- and telephone-based tracking of pregnant mothers and children through a web-enabled system. The initiative intends to make sure that all pregnant mothers and children receive full care and complete vaccination,” Azad said at a high level ministerial meeting of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the capital. The meet was attended by health ministers and delegates of the South-East Asia Region.

The tracking system will enable health officials to track each and every child and monitor the provision of timely immunisation services to help verify and improve outreach of services, Azad said.

Basic vaccines in routine immunisation include four vaccines against six diseases such as BCG (vaccine against childhood tuberculosis), DTP (combined vaccine against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus), OPV (vaccine against polio) and measles.

While the ministry is confident about its move, WHO officials feel it was a much needed step for a country like India that has a vast population.

“India’s size is a challenge as a sizable population is not aware of the benefits of immunisation. We always needed a tracking system to spot the drop outs in vaccination, and reach out to the grass root population,” Poonam Khetarpal Singh, Deputy Regional Director, WHO (SEARO), told IANS.

“Intense monitoring and accountability are needed. India must also use the tracking system to get a feedback from the health officials in gram panchayats to know the problems they are facing in manpower,” Singh added.

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