The state branch of Alliance for Immunisation in India was launched in Patna on Friday to improve vaccination programmes in Bihar.
Around 50 non-government organisations (NGOs), including Bihar Voluntary Health Association, Adventist Development and Relief Agency, India, Bihar Gram Vikas Parishad and Vaishali Samaj Kalyan Sansthan, have come together to achieve the goal.
Apart from Unicef, World Health Organisation (WHO) officials, health minister Ramdhani Singh attended the programme.
Swapan Majumdar, the executive director of the Bihar Voluntary Health Association, said: “The Bihar chapter would monitor the various immunisation programmes in the state. This is a first-of-its-kind initiative when NGOs have come forward in such numbers to ensure the success of routine immunisation.”
He added that at present, there are many districts in Bihar where immunisation programmes are not being properly implemented because of different reasons.
“Government officials and auxiliary nurse midwives responsible for the immunisation programmes find it difficult to reach some of the regions. The participation of the NGOs would make a difference in the work. The organisations have a good reach among the communities involved in the programme,” he said.
The Unicef and WHO officials spoke on the various types of vaccines administered to children under routine immunisation programmes, while health minister Ramdhani Singh appreciated the NGOs for coming together to form the alliance.
“The government alone cannot achieve the goal of routine immunisation programmes. We want the support of NGOs and the people. I am happy that today, NGOs have taken a step in this matter. I also hope the people would come forward to ensure the success of the routine immunisation programmes. Each and every child should be vaccinated against different diseases in their areas,” said minister Singh.
He also used the platform to speak of the government’s measures to bring down infant and mother mortality rate.
“Bihar is riding the waves of change. With Manav Vikas Mission, Bihar has also created a model proving social and economic development can and must steer together. In its mission to ensure ‘health for all’, the government has launched ‘Dus ka Dum, Swashthya Rahenge Hum’ — a 10-point agenda to improve the healthcare system,” he added.