Mangaluru, Feb 03, 2017: The Union and state governments, are aiming at measles elimination and Rubella control by 2020, will hold a mass vaccination drive across Dakshina Kannada district from February 7 to 28. According to health department officials, the vaccination is mandatory for all in the age group of 9 months to 15 years.
The drive will be held in all schools, outreach centres and health facilities. All children should be vaccinated even if they have already been administered with MR/MMR vaccine or had either of the diseases. Ramakrishna Rao, district health and family welfare officer, said the drive aims to vaccinate around 4.80 lakh children in the DK district. It will be held at 2,551 schools and 2,104 anganwadi centres.
Dr Rao said the drive aims at complete eradication and the department has roped in and trained doctors from Indian Medical Association, Indian Association of Paediatric Surgeons and private hospital doctors. They have also trained school teachers and ground level health workers.
Measles is a deadly disease and one of the major causes of disability and death among children. Diseases can make child vulnerable to life threatening complications like pneumonia and diahorrea and it spreads through coughing and sneezing of infected person and commonly presents with visible red rash, high fever, cough, running nose and red eyes.
While Rubella infection during pregnancy can result in congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) that can cause congenital anomalies affecting eyes (glaucoma, cataract), ears (hearing loss), brain and heart defects. It can also lead to abortions, miscarriages and still births in pregnant women.
In global scenario, 36% of deaths due to measles were reported from India and 100-150 cases of CRS in 2014, according WHO survey.
Dr Ashok, district co-ordinator for the drive said children who are hospitalised, seriously ill and affected with third stage of HIV are advised not to take the vaccine. "However, children who are fit and eligible are requested not to eat junk or oily food a day before the vaccination and menstruating girls are asked to eat well," he requested. In DK, in the last four months, seven cases of Rubella and 12 cases of measles have been reported, he added.