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Government launches Intensified Mission Indradhanush

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) to accelerate full immunization coverage to more than 90% by December 2018.

Through this programme, Government aims to reach each and every child under two years of age and all those pregnant women who have been left uncovered under the routine immunisation programme.

Intensified Mission Indradhanush

IMI programme aims at reducing maternal and child mortality by reaching out to each and every child under two years of age and all pregnant women who have been left uncovered under routine immunisation programme. Its focus is on improving immunization coverage in select districts and cities to ensure full immunization to more than 90% by December 2018.

IMI will provide greater focus on urban areas and other pockets of low immunization coverage. ‎IMI drive will be spread over 7 working days starting from 7th of every month.

Special strategies have been devised for effective implementation of IMI which includes inter-ministerial and inter-departmental coordination, action based review mechanism and rigorous monitoring of the programme.

It devises convergence mechanism of ground level workers of various departments like ANMs, Anganwadi workers, ASHAs, Zila preraks under National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM), self-help groups for better coordination and effective implementation of the programme.

Moreover, it also has appreciation and awards mechanism to recognize districts reaching more than 90% coverage. The criteria under it, include best practices and media management during crisis. Certificate of Appreciation will be given to acknowledge contribution of partners/Civil Society Organization (CSOs) and others.

Implementation of ‎IMI will be closely monitored at the district, state and central level at regular intervals.   ‎It would be reviewed by Cabinet Secretary at National level and will be monitored at highest level under a special initiative Proactive Governance and Timely Implementation (PRAGATI).

Mission Indradhanush

Mission Indradhanush was launched in December 2014. It aimed to fully immunize more than 90% of children under age of 2 years, as well as all pregnant women, against seven vaccine preventable diseases. These diseases are diphtheria, whooping cough, poliomyelitis, tetanus, tuberculosis, measles and Hepatitis B. In addition vaccines for Japanese Encephalitis and Haemophilus influenzae type B are also being provided Rubella, Injectable Polio Vaccine Bivalent and Rotavirus are also provided in selected states.

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US approves first test to screen Zika virus in donated blood

United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved ‘Cbas Zika test’ for detecting Zika virus in donated blood. It is first of kind test approved by FDA for detecting Zika virus in donated blood.

The cobas Zika test is manufactured by Roche Molecular Systems Inc. It is intended for use by blood collection establishments to detect Zika virus in blood donations and not for individual diagnosis of Zika virus infection.

Cobas Zika test

It is qualitative nucleic acid test for detection of Zika virus RNA in individual plasma specimens obtained from volunteer donors of whole blood and blood components and from living organ donors. It has shown more than 99% clinical specificity, in earlier evaluation for testing individual samples from blood donations at five external laboratories

Zika virus

Zika virus is vector borne disease transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the same mosquito that transmits dengue. It can also spread through blood transfusion and sexual contact.

The virus is capable of causing serious birth defects i.e. neurological disorders and foetal deformation known as Microcephaly in which infants are born with abnormally smaller heads. Besides a possible link between virus and Guillain-Barré syndrome (a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the nervous system) is also suspected.

There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available to treat Zika. The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites and clearing stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.

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