My Vaccine lessons recharged.
Way back, 1992. I joined my first job. Rajasthan. Churu district. Immediately after marriage.
Almost a honeymoon gifted in wilderness.
Catering to 50 villages. In deep desert. With Primary Health Care.
Lilki. One village. Samira. Another village. And a third village. And a fourth. Where services did not reach.
Over steaming tea. And cigarettes. We discussed. Service delivery. Out of box methods. What does it take? To improve vaccination coverage?
When a health care worker, an ANM ( auxiliary nurse midwife ) gave me my first lesson in public health from the field.
She said : ‘It is simple. There must be a vaccine. There must be a place to give the vaccine. And there needs to be someone to give the vaccine and someone to take it. ‘
So simple. The 3 P puzzle. Product (vaccine); Place ( a facility) and People ( health workers and mothers with children).
Product, Place, People. 3 Ps.
Thereafter in every planning for a vaccine session, we discussed the 3 P puzzle to address coverage.
Then in my work in Polio eradication. I learned another very effective P.
Partnership. The 4th P.
How important it is of a seamless coordination between different stakeholders who begin with a common goal , with their own strategies and agenda. And how stakeholders evolve into partners.
Much later, when I went further away from field, and started planning in air conditioned rooms with a much wider lens to address Immunization coverage at a National level, I learned of another P. Critical to program success.
Political Commitment. The 5th P.
As is today exemplified in the highest offices in the country. From the Prime Minister’s office. From the Chief Ministers’ office. And Health ministers’ office.
And from the office of bureaucrats at every level. A focus on coverage and equity.
Today I was very impressed with the leadership and commitment shown by the Health Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Shri Jai Pratap Singh.
He spoke of partnership and coordination with stress. Demonstrated a high commitment from the State . To protect every child with vaccines.
Hope of a bright future for children.
Health Minister of Uttar Pradesh receiving an update from State Immunization Officer , Government of UP, Dr AP Chaturvedi and partners. My colleagues Dr Devendra Khandait and Dr Saurabh Sharma. In picture.