Health minister J P Nadda has said the Centre is focused on preventive healthcare and the massive immunization drive is part of an overall strategy to minimize or eradicate preventable diseases after the successful eradication of polio.
Listing the achievements in the health sector in the first year of the Narendra Modi government, Nadda said the health ministry is now targeting diseases like diarrhoea, Japanese encephalitis and measles with its massive immunisation drive- Mission Indradhanush. The health ministry is also working to address Kala Azar and tuberculosis.
“In order to improve our health indicators, India has to focus on complete immunisation. Earlier the country was known for corruption, now it is known for Mission,” Nadda said, emphasising that the government is stressing on service to the people. He said the Centre will ensure that all health-related projects, whether in the pipeline or new ones, all completed on schedule.
In the presence of Himachal health minister Thakur Kaul Singh, Nadda launched a separate website for Mission Indradhanush and a mobile App to monitor the immunisation drive, which was launched in December last year to achieve full vaccine coverage across the country.
“It is a matter of shame that India produces vaccines for the world but it has the largest number of unimmunised children,” said Vineet Chowdhary, additional chief secretary(health), Himachal Pradesh.
India’s infant mortality rate is higher than even countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Nadda said the new government has brought in a positive change in the country’s political culture with focus on progressive and developmental work in coordination with states.
“Before May 2014, our country was known for scams and scandals . Within one year, our country and political leaders are talking about services to people,” Nadda said.
“The yard sticks, benchmarks and the issues related to governance have completely changed under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has also been internationally accepted as a leader,” he said.
Nadda also highlighted financial devolution and involvement of states in policy formation and implementation. “There was a disconnection between the Centre and states. State representatives were not given enough opportunity to put forward their issues and problems. Now, it is the ‘Team India’ concept where chief ministers are in direct touch with the PM. The states have also got financial powers to build up their own programmes,” he said.