The District Immunization Officer of Dima Hasao, Dr Merina Changsan, convened a media sensitization programme on Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign at her office chamber on Monday in presence of the Joint Director of Health Services & Family Welfare, Dr Dipali Barman.
Considering the vastness of the role played by media in making people aware about any campaign implementation, the government has decided to organize one-day sensitization programme with the media.
Sensitization of other departments like Education, ICDS, religious leaders etc are also being held for better understanding of the vaccination in details. Dr Barman, Joint Director has also requested the media persons for their cooperation and information regarding any rumor or untoward situation that may occur during the process so as to help the public in larger interest.
The campaign is most likely to be scheduled from April 26, 2018 which will continue for four to five weeks. As part of its commitment to the World Health Organisation (WHO) – SEAR goal of Measles elimination and Rubella/congenital rubella syndrome control by 2020, the government of India is introducing Rubella vaccine as Measles – Rubella (MR) vaccine in a phased manner. Two phases are already over under Universal Immunization Programme (UIP).
Dr Changsan informed that along with the rest of the States, MR vaccine will be introduced in Dima Hasao also as Measles Rubella campaign, covering a wide age group of 9 months to less than 15 years. Under the campaign, the Departments of Health & Education are partnering schools to jointly participate in the MR campaign.
The Measles Rubella (MR) campaign will be conducted within a period of 4-5 weeks scheduled as the first two weeks in the public and private schools for school children, the next two weeks will be for non-going school children in outreach session sites, and the last 5th week will be for the missed children.
Measles is highly infectious disease caused by a virus. An estimated nearly 49000 children die due to measles annually, making it one of the leading cause of child deaths in India. Measles can be prevented by immunizing children with 2 (two) doses of Measles vaccine, which is safe and effective. A MR campaign offers a second opportunity to ensure population immunity against Measles and Rubella. All children aged 9 months to less than 15 years will be provided with an additional dose of MR vaccine, regardless of any previous vaccination status or history of Measles or Rubella like illness.
Rubella is an infectious yet mild viral illness, affecting both children and adults that can cause death and disabilities in the new born if an unprotected pregnant woman gets infected with Rubella virus in early pregnancy. Rubella virus has the potential to cause abortions, still births and severe birth defects known as Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS), including deafness and blindness in the new born child. This may lead to serious lifelong disabilities which is a burden to the family and society. (Nearly 30000 estimated CRS cases in the country per year)
All the facilities at the public health centre (PHC) level and above will function as session sites throughout the campaign duration to immunize any children in the target age group coming to health facility for which MR vaccine is indicated as per campaign guidelines.