Mission Indradhanush was launched by Union Health Minister J.P Nadda on December 25, 2014. It aims to immunize all children against seven vaccine preventable diseases namely diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis B by 2020. By doing so, the government wants to bring down the infant and maternal mortality rates. It has been given its name because Indradhanush means rainbow, depicting the 7 colors of life.
Enumerating on the Mission, the Health Minister said, "We have identified 201 high focus districts in the country in the first phase which have nearly 50% of all unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children. These districts will be targeted by intensive efforts to improve the routine immunization coverage."
Out of the 201 districts, 82 districts are in the four states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The second phase of the program saw children below 5 years of age vaccinated in states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in the second week of May. UNICEF, along with the State and Central Governments organized campaigns to create awareness during the period. Sixteen antenatal mothers and 94 children aged below two years were administered vaccines in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu. S. Uma, Deputy Director of Health Services, said that 28 localities were being covered and nine types of vaccines being administered.
The ministry will be technically supported by WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International and other donor partners.