Department of Health & Family Welfare, Punjab is going to conduct Measles Rubella Vaccination campaign from 1st May 2018 as part of National strategy to eliminate Measles and control Rubella in the country. State Level Media sensitization workshop regarding MR Campaign is held at Punjab Bhawan, Chandigarh. Health Minister of Punjab Shri Brahm Mohindra stated that said that all children aged 9 months to less than 15 years will be vaccinated regardless of previous vaccination with MR/MMR or history of measles/rubella like illness. He informed that an estimated 75 lakh children will be vaccinated in the campaign over a period of 4-6 weeks. The vaccination will first be conducted in schools and later in community through outreach sessions.Mr. Brahm Mohindra told that 5200 vaccination teams and 1733 supervisors have been deployed to cover about 29000 schools conducting nearly 59000 vaccination sessions across the state. Each vaccination team will have 3 members and a volunteer. About 5200 vaccinators, nearly 19000 ASHAs and 25000 AnganWadi Workers have been trained. So far, teachers from about 29000 schools have been sensitized about the campaign.He stated that the goal of MR campaign is to accelerate population immunity by reaching 100% target children with MR vaccine that will reduce cases and deaths from measles and disabilities from Congenital Rubella Syndrome. Like Polio it is now targeted to make our country Measles and Rubella free by 2020.
Mr. Brahm Mohindra told that the campaign shall be implemented by two strategies: School based and community based. During school based campaign all children in Government, Government aided, Private, Army schools, Day Care centers and Crèches shall be vaccinated. During community based campaign all ‘out of school children’ in age group of 9 months to 15 years shall be covered including children at Orphanages, Blind schools, Deaf Schools, Juvenile homes, Children of Jail inmates and Nomads.Health Minister said that MR vaccine is safe and administered worldwide under Routine Immunization program as well as through MR vaccination campaigns.MR vaccine used for the campaign is a WHO prequalified vaccine, produced under stringent and highly supervised conditions by Serum Institute of India which is one of the largest vaccine manufacturers and exporters globally with its vaccines used all over the world including American and European nations.Mrs. Anjali Bhawra, Principal Secretary Health & Family Welfare, Punjab informed the media person that Auto-disable syringes are used for vaccination of each child. These syringes are rendered non-usable after single use. All the vaccinators are highly skilled health staffs who administer vaccinations to the children in routine immunization in large numbers regularly following the best injection and waste disposal practices.
She said that Measles is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. An estimated nearly 49,000 children die from measles annually, making it one of the leading causes of child deaths in India. Measles can be prevented by immunizing children with two doses of measles vaccine, which is safe and effective. Also Rubella is another 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, stillbirths and severe birth defects known as congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), including deafness and blindness in the new-born child.In this event Special Secretary Health cum Mission Director National Health Mission, Punjab. Mr. Varun Roojam, Additional Secretary Health Mr. B. Srinivasan, Director Family Welfare, Dr. Naresh Kansra, WHO representative and other Senior Officers of Health Department were present.