Today, as India makes strides in sustained living for its citizens, health is rightly placed at the centre of the conversation, as a crucial determinant of the power of its growing economy and immunization in India makes it an important aspect of governance.
Global Vaccine Action Plan for immunization in india (GVAP) –
In the context of healthcare, the GVAP (Global Vaccine Action Plan) launched in 2012 has been a formidable step towards providing equitable access to vaccines for people living in low-income countries. Under GVAP, 194 countries came together to commit better healthcare for the world and with a promise for a disease-free future. India too stepped forward, making considerable efforts in enhancing its public health framework.
India’s commitment to GVAP –
India introduced its flagship immunisation programme — Mission Indradhanush — in 2014, calling into action India’s urgent need to improve the 65 per cent immunisation rate achieved in its Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) since 1985. Further, new vaccines were added to the UIP in realising India’s obligations to GVAP 2020. Newer technologies were introduced in the healthcare environment of the country, priming the system to excel.
Gaps in India’s commitment to healthcare –
A whopping 68 countries, including India, fall well short of the 90 per cent basic immunisation target coverage. According to the 2016 midterm review of GVAP, India continues to have the highest number of unvaccinated children worldwide. This has hampered the overall progress of GVAP.
Suggestions to ensure efficient immunisation –
- Sustainable exploitation of dwindling resources and timely execution of well-crafted strategies are of primary importance, and this can only be achieved through participation from multiple stakeholders across the community.
- Building awareness about the value of vaccines — A crucial step towards delivering ‘Health for All’ is building trust in vaccines and in the healthcare system.
- Community-based information provided by trusted sources can help address issues confronting vaccine hesitancy at large.
- Use of technologies to optimise delivery of existing vaccines. In this regard, it is very encouraging to see the use of eVIN technology (electronic vaccine intelligence network) as an example of India leading the world in indigenously developed technology that digitises vaccine stocks and monitors the temperature of the cold chain through smartphone applications.
- Invest in R&D for new vaccine development — The road to achieving GVAP 2020 is through efficient vaccine delivery technologies that provide high and equitable coverage to the most under-served populations of the world. New technologies aimed at lowering the dose of vaccine or reducing the required number of doses, reducing wastage and enhancing vaccine to stimulate the best immune response particularly in small children are needed.
- Healthcare authorities should be encouraged to craft, defend and champion immunisation budgets while closely monitoring disbursements and immunisation programme activities, both at the national as well as the local level.
- Officials at the national and subnational level responsible for implementation of the immunisation plans, should be empowered and held accountable for programme monitoring and performance.
- Civil society organisations that can effectively advocate for greater commitment to vaccines and immunisations should be engaged proactively, and leveraged for increased effectiveness of delivery systems.
- Immunization in india programmes must have robust training, management and knowledge-sharing structures for programme implementation to be effective.
The future of healthcare lies in immunization in india collaboration, innovative solutions and intelligent delivery designs. With a keen focus on the immunisation drive, the Centre is making remarkable progress in building a stronger healthcare environment across the country. And this will most certainly pave the way for a stronger and healthier India.
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