A fully immunised child is one who has taken all scheduled vaccines supplied by the government. A child in Odisha takes as many as 12 vaccines from government facilities. Mostly local health and anganwadi workers coordinate the vaccine camps at the village level with the help of health department officials.
The national figure for fully immunised children aged 12-23 months has improved from 62 per cent to 76 per cent in the past five years. Odisha’s rate was 78.6 per cent in 2015-16 (NFHS-4). Odisha is followed by Himachal Pradesh (89.3 per cent), Tamil Nadu (89.2 per cent), West Bengal (87.8 per cent), Karnataka (84.1 per cent) and Goa (81.9 per cent).
According to the survey, 98.1 per cent children aged between 12 and 23 months have received most of their vaccinations in a public health facility in Odisha. While 99.1 per cent children were from rural areas, 91.8 per cent were from urban localities. However, only a miniscule 1.4 per cent children (most of them from urban areas) in Odisha received their vaccines from private facilities. As many as 97.3 per cent children aged 12-23 months have received the BCG vaccine. Similarly, 94.4 per cent children have received three doses of penta or hepatitis B vaccine.
State health minister Naba Kishore Das congratulated health staff, especially those involved in the immunisation programme, for achieving this feat. “Because of their tireless effort, we achieved this percentage. We will work hard to further improve our percentage,” he added.
Nilamadhab Jena from the Indian Association of Paediatrics (IAP), Odisha, said it is a good sign that parents are aware about the immunisation programme and follow it. “Odisha has witnessed a high infant mortality rate in the past. But the immunisation percentage shows that we can reduce the infant mortality rate. It is a good thing that Odisha has the highest percentage in immunisation leaving many developed states behind,” he added.
The NFHS-5 field work in phase-II states and Union Territories was conducted in two parts because of Covid-19 and the imposition of lockdown.
The field work in Odisha was conducted from January 19, 2020, to March 21, 2020, prior to the lockdown and from November 30, 2020, to March 31 this year post-lockdown by Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR).