1,000 vaccine centres across city for kids

Children below two years to be immunised against 11 diseases every month

The Delhi government is opening up 1,000 centres across the capital for immunisation programme for children, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday.

Kejriwal was speaking at the launch of Mission Indradhanush Kavach – a children immunisation programme launched on World Health Day here.

Children below two years will be provided free vaccines against 11 diseases every month from 7th to 14th for a year. The 11 diseases which the programme aims to fight are tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, chicken pox, influenza, meningitis and polio.

Currently, there is only 40 per cent immunisation among children in jhuggi jhopri, unauthorised colonies, construction sites and near railway tracks in Delhi.
This is why the mortality rate among children in poor families is found to be higher, said a senior health official at the event.

The Delhi government aims to achieve 100 per cent vaccination for children in unauthorised colonies within a year.

“Over 60 per cent children born in poor families still have not received vaccination. The government vaccination programme includes providing vaccines to children against 11 diseases. The total cost of the vaccines runs up to Rs 2,000. This is why poor parents often cannot afford to provide it to their children,” said Kejriwal.

Each of the 280 wards in Delhi will have at least three centres for providing free vaccination to children. If the need arises, the number of centres will be increased beyond 1,000.

“The camps will be put up in those areas, especially JJ clusters and unauthorised colonies, where parents cannot afford to take their children to private hospitals,” said Kejriwal.
He also promised that children from lower economic background will have access to education and health facilities  on par with those from the upper middle class families. The government will take the responsibility of the education and treatment of children born in poor families.

The state government is now also planning to act tough on those selling adulteration in food items and medicines.

“We will run a campaign and take action against those responsible for the sale of adulterated food items and medicines,” said the Chief Minister.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain said a significant number of patients in the state-run hospitals were found to be suffering from diseases due to adulterated food items when the government conducted surprise checks.

“We will set up a special taskforce to check adulterated food items and medicines. The general public will also be actively involved to book offenders,” said Jain.
While the government has decided to not demolish jhuggis, Kejriwal appealed to people to not contribute to further mushrooming of jhuggis.

“We have promised to provided permanent houses in place of jhuggis in five years. But if you build more jhuggis then it will be difficult for us to fulfil the promise,” said Kejriwal.
DH News Service

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