To promote the importance of vaccination and immunization, the world celebrates World Immunisation Week, initiated by the efforts of World Health Organisation. The Immunisation Awareness Week will be celebrated this year between April 24 and April 30.
While the world moves towards achieving absolute immunization, disesases like measles, meningitis A, mumps, polio, hepatitis B, and haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) still require complete vaccines and dosages at regular intervals.
There are certain loopholes and gaps that are mentioned by WHO in achieving complete immunization. According to the data released by World Health Organization (WHO), the following are the existing gaps in immunization awareness:
•Only a little improvement is recorded in terms of global vaccination coverage and it stands at 85% for last one decade.
•An India-specific study by the Health Affairs Organisation found that India has 9.6 million unimmunized children.
•This accounts for more than one-third of the 27 million unimmunized children around the world.
However, there has been a growth in the use of new vaccines, according to WHO’s estimate. Moreover, if the immunization progress stays consistent, it will avoid around 1.5 million deaths in coming years.
Ways to Close Immunisation Gaps
While there are some shortcomings and loopholes, here are a few methods through which this Immunization gap can be filled.
•Ensuring proper Health Management Information System in place
•Sending phone message or IVR phone call informing people on dates and locations of health campaign
•Introducing new missions and programs like ‘Intensified Mission Indradhanush’ health scheme, which used the smart strategy of cross-sectoral participation for vaccinating maximum number of children
•Advertising health schemes and policies through TV and radio to increase the outreach of such schemes.