Universal immunization programme: National health programs India
The Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) is one of the national health programs in India. It was launched in 1985 with the objective of reducing morbidity and mortality due to vaccine-preventable diseases. The program provides free vaccination to all children in the country, irrespective of their socio-economic status.
The UIP provides vaccines for 12 vaccine-preventable diseases, which include tuberculosis, polio, hepatitis B, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles, rubella, Japanese encephalitis, rotavirus, pneumococcal disease, and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) infection. The vaccines are provided through a network of primary health centers, community health centers, and district hospitals.
The program aims to achieve full immunization coverage of all children in the country by the age of two years. The program also focuses on reaching out to hard-to-reach populations, such as those in remote areas and urban slums.
Over the years, the UIP has made significant progress in increasing immunization coverage in the country. According to the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20, the percentage of children aged 12-23 months who received all basic vaccinations under the UIP was 62.3%. This is an improvement from 44% in NFHS-4 conducted in 2015-16.
Despite the progress, the UIP still faces challenges in achieving full immunization coverage. The reasons include vaccine hesitancy, inadequate infrastructure, and insufficient human resources. The program also needs to focus on improving the quality of vaccination services and addressing issues related to vaccine supply chain management.
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