Medical, UNICEF and WHO officials with media persons during a media sensitization workshop on Measles and Rubella Vaccination Campaign in Kohima on September 25. (Morung Photo)
Children from 9 months to 15 years to be vaccinated across Nagaland from Oct 3
Kohima | September 25
State Immunization Officer Dr Atoshe Sema today sought the active involvement of various media houses for success of the Measles and Rubella Vaccination Campaign (MRVC) while expressing hope to achieve 100% coverage.
Several media persons from both print and electronic were sensitized on MRVC here at Hotel Vivor by the state’s medical department, UNICEF and WHO representatives.
He said that Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio will formally launch the campaign on October 3 at Government Higher Secondary School, Seikhazou, Kohima.
The duration of the campaign in Nagaland will be for five weeks where first two weeks will be in the schools and institutions while third and fourth weeks will be in the community facility centres and fifth week will be for the missed-out children.
‘Don’t believe in rumours’
Dr Atoshe urged the public not to believe the rumours doing the round in the social media.
According to a pamphlet received here, all children of 9 months to less than 15 years must get vaccinated, adding that this vaccine will be given in all schools, community sessions, Angawadi centres and government health centres.
Children in the age group of 9 months to 15 years will be vaccinated across Nagaland under Measles-Rubella (MR) campaign from October 3.
It informed that MR vaccine is very safe and does not cause any severe side effects. The children will be vaccinated by a trained health workers, it stated and appealed parents to bring their children to the MR vaccination campaign site.
This campaign is in line with the national target of measles elimination and control of rubella by 2020.
Measles is one of the leading causes of death among children despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine for over 40 years.
Of the approximately 1,34,200 measles related deaths globally in 2015, 36% were from India.
For a successful campaign, all children in the target age group must be vaccinated. Both diseases can only be prevented through vaccination, source said.
Dr. Maulik Shah, head officer, UNICEF told the workshop that even at high levels of routine immunization coverage, single dose is not enough to achieve 95% population immunity.
He said two doses of MR vaccine with 95% coverage is critical.
Dr Sheila, SMO (WHO) said that measles kills nearly 49,200 children every year in India.
She said Rubella infection during pregnancy can cause abortion, still birth and may lead to multiple birth defects in the new born, like blindness, deafness, heart defects (know as Congenital Rubella Syndrome).
However, there is no enough evidence to suggest that mumps is a disease of public health importance.
Therefore, she said, MR vaccine is being introduced instead of MMR vaccine.
Biggest campaign under MH&FW
Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign is one of the biggest campaigns undertaken by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare under Universal Immunization Programme, till date.
The first phase of the campaign was rolled out in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Lakshadweep and Puducherry in February 2017.
Measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children, even though a safe and effective vaccine has been available for over 40 years.
It is a highly contagious disease, caused by virus of the paramyxovirus family and spreads through coughing and sneezing of an infected person. Measles is commonly recognizable as a visible red rash with high fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes. Children who do not have sufficient immunity contract the disease, if exposed. Measles can make a child vulnerable to life threatening complications such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and brain infection.
Rubella, although a mild viral illness, can lead to serious consequences if infected during pregnancy. Rubella infection during early pregnancy can lead to abortion, miscarriage, still birth, and set of congenital anomalies in the foetus and newborns known as Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS), which is a cause of public health concern. CRS is characterized by multiple defects, particularly affecting the eyes (glaucoma, cataract), ears (hearing loss), brain (microcephaly, mental retardation) and heart defects, many of which require costly therapy, surgeries and other expensive care.
Both these diseases can be prevented by highly effective vaccines which offer lifelong protection. Malnourished children should be vaccinated on a priority basis, as they are more likely to have complications like diarrhea and pneumonia.
Marykali Yepthomi, SBCC consultant UNICEF also addressed the workshop while vote of thanks was proposed by Dr. Razuokhrieu Rio, Deputy Director (UIP) Nagaland.
Earlier, a separate workshop for Faith Based Organizations (FBOs) also took place today.