New Delhi: The government is all set to launch a major media campaign on Monday to educate the masses on immunisation, ahead of implementing its ambitious health programme—“Mission Indradhanush" in April.

The campaign, which is to be launched by the Union health ministry, will have advertisements, jingles, workshops and a host of other activities to sensitise the masses after it was found that more than 60% of people lacked knowledge of the benefits of immunisation.

“We will launch a major media campaign on 23 March which will continue for 15 days. We have found that in 63% of the cases, people do not know the benefits of immunisation. The multimedia campaign is aimed at bridging this communication gap," Rakesh Kumar, joint secretary, health department told PTI.

“Health minister J.P. Nadda will launch the media campaign of ‘Mission Indradhanush’ in presence of World Health Organization (WHO) India representative of Nata Menabde, Louis-Georges Arsenault, UNICEF Representative for India and other officials tomorrow," a health ministry statement said.

“Mission Indradhanush", depicting seven colours of the rainbow, aims to cover by 2020 all such children, who are either not vaccinated or are partially vaccinated against seven vaccine-preventable diseases including diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis B.

Health secretary B.P. Sharma has already written to the information and broadcasting ministry urging it to involve all the media units including Press Information Bureau, Doordarshan, All India Radio, Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity (DAVP), Song and Drama division in the campaign.

“There will be television advertisements, jingles, posters and banners and the states will do their own Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities like workshops and dramas. It will be a multi-pronged approach for awareness generation," health ministry officials said. They said between 2009-2013 immunisation coverage has increased from 61% to 65%, indicating only 1% increase in coverage every year.

To accelerate the process of immunisation to 5% and immunising more children every year, the “Mission Mode" has been adopted to achieve target of full coverage by year 2020, Kumar said.

To discuss how MPs will be able to contribute in this mission, health minister J.P. Nadda also plans to hold deliberations in the future with the lawmakers of those four states which has nearly 25% of the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children in the country.

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