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India hopes to replicate Pulse Polio strategy to immunise its children

New Delhi – India has launched an ambitious mission to reduce the burden of unvaccinated children, which currently is the highest in any country.  The mission, to be achieved in the next five years, will see borrowing the strategy employed to eradicate polio from the country.  Every year an estimated 2.64 births take place in India, out of which 89 lakhs do not receive all vaccines against seven life-threatening diseases.
India has the highest number of under-five deaths in the world – 1.3 million in 2013, according to UNICEF Report on Child Mortality 2014, which accounts for 21% of the global figure of children under five died from mostly preventable causes.
“Swatch Bharat cannot be possible without Swasth Children,” said Jagat Prakash Nadda, India’s federal Health Minister, launching Mission Indradhanush in New Delhi on Monday (Mar 23). Indradhanush in Hindi or Sanskrit means rainbow, and the seven colours represent the seven life-threatening diseases of diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis B.
There are 201 districts in the country, which are high priority areas – mostly in four states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha.

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