Despite all the initial hiccups, the MR vaccination campaign has been marching forward to achieve its target.The success of this campaign can be gauged from the fact that, in 28 days of its launching around 39 lacs children have been administered the vaccine.Disclosing this Brahm Mohindra, Health and Family Welfare Minister said that it was a herculean task for the Punjab Health Department to drive home the very necessity of this MR vaccine amidst echoic negative propaganda against MR vaccination. He said that whole Health paraphernalia stood up to the occasion and worked tirelessly to sensitize the general public especially the parents and teachers to achieve the desire result by bringing children forward for the MR vaccination. He said that till date we are more than satisfied that MR vaccination is moving forward to achieve its target as on 28 days of the launching of this campaign we have been able to administer MR vaccination around 39 lacs children. He expressed confidence that campaign will get accelerated in the time to come and set target of MR vaccination would be achieved.
The Minister said that the Department of Health & Family Welfare has rolled out the ‘Measles Rubella Vaccination Campaign’ on 1st May 2018 with the motive to vaccinate all children aged between 9 months to less than 15 years in all districts of state.While congratulating teams, supervisors and higher authorities who are conducting the MR campaign in Punjab, Health & Family Welfare Minister Mr. Brahm Mohindra stated that only the tireless efforts and enthusiasm of staff of Health, Education and Social Security departments have made it possible to vaccinate 39 lacs children in short span of time. He said that earlier some fake viral videos about the MR campaign created doubts in the minds of parents even then people of state has expressed faith to get vaccinate their children under the MR Campaign.The Minister said that as part of National strategy to eliminate Measles and control Rubella in the country, all children aged between 9 months to less than 15 years would be vaccinated regardless of previous vaccination with MR/MMR or history of measles/rubella like illness.
The vaccination is first being conducted in schools and later in community through outreach sessions.Giving details about the arrangements made by the health department, Mr. Brahm Mohindra told that in order to ensure coverage of more than 70 lacs children, Punjab Government has been deployed 5200 vaccination teams having 3 members in each team and 1733 supervisors to cover about 29000 schools conducting nearly 59000 vaccination sessions across the state. He said that about 5200 vaccinators, nearly 19000 ASHAs and 25000 Anganwadi Workers have been trained. So far, teachers from about 29000 schools have also 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 would reduce cases and deaths from measles and disabilities from Congenital Rubella Syndrome. He said that each and every child between the aged of 9 months to 15 years would vaccinate and we have the detailed micro-plan to cover the all rural and remote areas of Punjab.
He said that like Polio it is now targeted to make our country Measles and Rubella free by 2020.Health Minister 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.