The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has successfully carried out measles-rubella vaccination campaign in five states. The campaign aims to cover 35 million children from age group of nine months to less that 15 years across the nation.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), which is the lead technical agency responsible for coordination for immunisation and surveillance in India, and the ministry initiated this campaign in collaboration with various stakeholders and professional bodies and organisations.
The first phase of measles-rubella vaccination campaign has been successfully completed in five states, namely, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Lakshadweep and Puducherry. More than 3.3 crore children were vaccinated in schools, community centres and health facilities, the ministry said.
Another round of the campaign will commence from August 2017 in Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana and Uttarakhand, aiming to cover 3.4 crore children.
For those children who have already received such vaccination, the campaign dose would provide additional boosting to them. MR vaccine will become a part of routine immunization and will replace measles vaccine currently given at 9-12 months and 16-24 months of age of child, the Ministry said.
Measles is communicated through droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Initial symptoms include high fever, a runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth, developing a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck and gradually spreading downwards.
Under the Global Vaccine Action Plan, WHO plans the elimination of measles and rubella by 2020 in five regions. According to reports, in India, measles affects an estimated 2.5 million children every year, killing nearly 49,000 of them. The WHO further states that global deaths have decreased by 75 per cent worldwide from 544,000 deaths in 2000 to 146,000 in 2013.