Having theoretically vaccinated all children on National Immunisation Day, during the following week all houses known to have children are visited and the children are checked for the “purple pinkie” mark. If they have not been vaccinated, they are vaccinated there and then, and if they are not at home when the house is visited, it is revisited every day until they are in and are checked. We are taking part in the first day of the follow-up week at a town / village close to Moradabad.
Mugalpur Urf Aghwanpur Mustahk is a large village located to the North West of Moradabad. The census says that it has a population of about 22,000 living in around 3300 houses and this is where we are going to participate in “Follow Up Day”.
To get there we have a long slow drive through the centre of Moradabad which is at a standstill because of a massive traffic jam (quite normal for India) and then we have a long wait at a level crossing whose signal box portrays the name of the town.
Unprepared to wait, many people nip under the gates to cross the tracks or push their bikes sideways under the barriers to get them through.
The town main street is typical of many in India although slightly less congested.
Some forms of transport however still have the ability to create a traffic jam.
The town Mosque is prominent
and it also is home to a Madrassa.
The town shows remnants of its history in some of the buildings we pass as we are walking through. My favourite sight was an old but rather beautiful doorway in a courtyard
and elsewhere the remains of a decorative balcony and doorway.
To get to the block we have been allocated, we have to head into the back alleyways
through an open air market
where there are a lot of children selling / guarding goods
Once a house has been inspected, a simple code is chalked somewhere on the front of the house indicating the status of the children within.
This code shows that Team 121 have checked houses 78, 79, 80 and 81 on the 23rd of February 2015 and from here they went left (note the arrow over the date) to the next house. House 78 failed (a child was at the market apparently) and the other houses passed (all the children were there to be checked). Also there is the signature of the Block Co-Ordinator who has responsibility for checking the work of the checkers. The checking team have a quota of 100 houses to visit each day.
Having checked a house, the paper record is updated here, there is a line for each house and each child within the house showing the date of the immunisation and who checked.
The process is extremely thorough and carried out efficiently by the team. All of the houses we visited welcomed us inside and produced their children without complaint.
Some of the children however complained
particularly if they had to be washed first so that we could see if their finger had the purple mark.
Once the 100th house in our block has been done, then it is back to the office to check and update the records
and the team celebrate another vaccination check well done.