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Year : 1990  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 227-34

Universal immunization in urban areas : Calcutta's success story.


UNICEF, Calcutta

Correspondence Address:
E R Chaudhuri
UNICEF, Calcutta

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 2133577

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The Central Government of Calcutta, India aimed to immunize 85% (85,262) of the city's 12 month old infants against polio, diphtheria, measles, tuberculosis, pertussis and tetanus. The Universal Immunization Program (UIP) achieved this target 3 months earlier than intended. In fact, at the end of December 1990, it achieved 110.6% for DPT3, 142.16% for OPV3, 151.96% for BCG, and 97% for measles. UIP was able to surpass its targets by emphasizing team work. Government, the private sector, UNICEF, and the voluntary sector made up the Apex Coordination Committee on Immunization headed up by the mayor. The committee drafted an action plan which included routine immunization sessions on a fixed day and intensive immunization drives. Further the involved organizations pooled together cold chain equipment. In addition, the District Family Welfare Bureau was the distribution center for vaccines, syringes, immunization cards, report formats, vaccine carriers, and ice packs. Health workers administered immunizations from about 300 centers generally on Wednesday, National Immunization Day. Intensive immunization drives focused on measles immunizations. UIP leaders encouraged all center to routinely record coverage and submit monthly progress reports to the District Family Welfare Bureau. The Calcutta Municipal Corporation coordinated promotion activities and social mobilization efforts. Promotion included radio and TV announcements, newspaper advertisements, cinema slides, billboards, and posters. The original UIP plan to use professional communicators to mobilize communities was ineffective, so nongovernmental organizations entered the slums to encourage people to encourage their neighbors to immunize their children. Further Islamic, Protestant, and Catholic leaders encouraged the faithful to immunize their children. A UNICEF officer noted that this success must be sustained, however.


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