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Through the 'Intensified Mission Indradhanush' or IMI, the government aims to reach every child below the age of two years and pregnant women still uncovered under the routine immunisation programme, an official statement said.
Under the IMI, a seven-day immunisation drive will be conducted each month from now till January 2018 in 173 districts and 17 cities, the statement said. These districts include 52 in eight northeastern states and 121 in 16 other states, it added.
The programme will cover low performing areas in the selected districts and cities.
"Let no child suffer from any vaccine-preventable disease," Modi said while launching the programme.
The prime minister was on a two-day visit to Gujarat. On the second day of his visit, he held a roadshow today at Vadnagar, his birthplace, in Mehsana district, where a large number of people queued up along the route to greet him.
The programme will focus on improving immunisation coverage in the districts and cities to ensure 90 per cent coverage for full immunisation by December 2018 instead of 2020, the statement said.
At the function, the prime minister also inaugurated the GMERS Medical College, Vadnagar, and launched the Innovative Mobile Phone Technology for Community Health Operation (ImTeCHO) for improving coverage of community-based maternal, neonatal and infant health services.
The GMERS Medical College serves nearly 400-500 outdoor patients and 80-100 indoor patients daily.
Modi also lauded several healthcare initiatives of the government. "Regulating the prices of stents has immensely helped a large section of the country by reducing the cost of healthcare for middle-income group and poor families," he said.
He expressed satisfaction at the success of the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan under which private doctors volunteer to provide free ANC services to pregnant women on the 9th day of every month, alongside government doctors.
The IMI programme is supported by 12 ministries and departments and would be monitored by the Cabinet Secretary at the national level, the statement said.
Speaking during the function, Union Health Minister J P Nadda said improving the health of the children is amongst the top priorities of the government.
He informed that in four phases, the Mission Indradhanush has reached to more than 2.53 crore children and 68 lakh pregnant women in the country.