Immunizing India’s Children
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, India started working towards universal child immunization. With around twenty-four million newborns a year the task was enoromous.
A massive communication campaign ran nationwide to create a sense of urgency among parents.
At the end of 1990, India announced that immunization coverage for children under the age of one had surpassed 80%.
UNICEF assisted in:
• Creation of a ‘Fixed Day’ schedule to ensure that vaccines and children arrived at the anganwadi on the same day.
Figures for child immunization coverage have slipped over the years, in some cases drastically. What India did in the late eighties showed what could be achieved. The challenge for the future is to bring India back to the point reached 16 years ago.