4 lakh children to receive MR vaccine in Kamrup (Metro)
With a view to combat Measles and Rubella in the district, the state health and family welfare department has launched a vaccination campaign in Kamrup (Metro) from August 17.
The programme will be part of the national strategy to eliminate measles and control Rubella and will also be implemented in all other districts across the state.
Joint director of health of Kamrup (Metro) district, Ganesh Saikia, told G Plus that all children aged between 9 and 15 years will be provided with an additional dose of the vaccine irrespective of their previous vaccination status.
“Since this programme will be conducted at a large scale, several workers have been involved in the process. Also, we have already trained the auxiliary nurse midwives (ANM) workers and the accredited social health activists (ASHA) workers in the state,” added Saikia.
The authorities have targeted more than 4 lakh beneficiaries within the district. Further, with the programme, officials are aiming to cover 100% of the targeted children. According to official figures, the authorities have targeted a total of 407272 children.
Out of these, around 2.8 lakh beneficiaries will be covered in schools while the rest, around 1.2 lakh children will be provided the vaccine in outreach and fix sessions.
For this campaign, the department of health, social welfare department and the department of education have collaborated to jointly participate in the Measles Rubella (MR) vaccination drive.
Measles is a highly infectious disease caused by virus making it one of the leading causes of child deaths in India. It can, however, be prevented by immunizing children with two doses of measles vaccine.
On the other hand, Rubella is an infectious but mild viral illness affecting both children as well as adults.
Explaining the break-up of the vaccination drive, officials from the healthy and family welfare department informed G Plus that the drive will be conducted in schools in the first two weeks. Further, during the third and the fourth week village and community programme will be undertaken by the officials. Finally, all left out children will be covered during the fifth week.
As per the district health officials, 123 doctors and 305 total vaccinators (ANMs) have been involved to achieve the set targets. Additionally, 915 social mobilizers including ASHA and Anganwadi workers in Kamrup (Metro) have also been involved to complete this mammoth task.
According to experts, the measles virus is found in the mouth, throat and nose of the infected person. Further, the infection is characterised by rash and cough. The disease is highly infectious and may even lead to death of the patient.
The measles virus is transmitted through the air via respiratory droplets expelled by an infected individual in the form of sneezing and coughing.
Further, Rubella, also known as German measles, is marked by flu-like symptoms. It is marked by rashes on face, trunk, and limb which disappear after a few days. It is also characterised by swollen glands, joint pain, and headache.
The disease typically affects people of all ages; however, it is not so common in infants.
Launched by the central ministry of health and family welfare, Mission Indradhanush vaccination also covers Measles along with six other preventable diseases in children below the age of two years. Mission Indradhanush was launched by health minister J P Nadda in 2014.
“Government of India has targeted to eliminate both measles and rubella by 2020. Across India, around 9 crore children have already been covered under this programme. But our target is to cover around 44 crore children. In Assam alone, we will cover 1 crore children,” informed immunization officer for Kamrup (Metro) Dr. K Pathak.