Imphal, 20 March 2018 ( Evening News ): Health Director, doctors of World Health Organisation,and Communication officers of UNICEF India, appealed to the people of the State to take part in Measles & Rubella Vaccination Campaign to be launched in the State on March 26 to prevent Measles which is a major childhood killer disease and rubella which causes congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) that is responsible for irreversible birth defects to children from 9 months to 15 years of age. The appealed was made at the Media Sensitisation on Measles Rubella Campaign Manipur organised by State Health Society at Hotel Classic, North AOC today. The doctors of WHO, Communication officer of UNICEF, India and State Immunisation spoke at length about the diseases and the campaign in the event. Speaking on the occasion, Director of Directorate of Health Services, National Health Mission, Dr. Rajo said the aim of the campaign is to eradicate Measles and to control Rubella by 2020 in the country. He said the largest worldwide campaign aims to vaccinate over 40 crore children in the age group of 9 months to 15 years across the world. The Director said Children will be given a shot of Measles-Rubella MR vaccine during the campaign. Following the Campaign, MR vaccine will become a part of routine immunisation and will replace measles vaccine, currently given to 9 to 12 month and 16 to 24 months old infants. Addressing media persons, Surveillance Medical Officer of World Health Organisation, Dr, Pranay Dutta stated that measles is a major Childhood Killer disease and Rubella also known as German measles causes congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) that is responsible for irreversible birth defects which can even kill the child. Pranay mentioned that over 50 thousand out of 1 lakh 34 thousand children killed by Measles, the fatal major air-borne in the world are from India while 40 thousand out of 1 lakh children infected by CRS in the world are in India. He said many children affected by CRS were born with heart and brain problems in Manipur as well and that many have also died. Pranay said the campaign of the Central Government can immunise 65 per cent of the Children in the Country. He said the campaign in the State aims at immunising 95 per cent of the Children and urged the parents to get their children vaccinated.
Taking part in the Sensitisation programme, State Immunization Officer, Dr. Nandakishwor stated that infant mortality rate has increased from 9 per cent to 11 per cent in the state. He said cases of Measles and Rubella are found in many areas of Manipur. He said, traditional advices not to medicate Measles and Rubella is a myth and asserted that if not treated on time, it can lead to death. He said if pregnant women suffer from Rubella, the unborn child is at the risk of heart and brain related diseases leading to health deterioration and dead of the unborn child. Nandakishwor said if infants between 9 month to 12 month are vaccinated, Measles-Rubella is preventable at 85 percent and it is 99 percent preventable if infants above 1 year are vaccinated against the diseases. He said, the vaccination campaign against these diseases will be conducted from the 26th of March up to the 30th of April at various hospital, primary health sub centres, health centres, schools and anganwadi centres across the state. Communication Officer of UNICEF India from Assam, Tasheen Alam asserted that medias have major responsibility for the success of the campaign. He appealed to all media organisations in the state to cooperate in successfully executing the campaign and if ever, any controversy or confusion arises among the people, he requested the media houses to report accurately in consultation with authorities concerned. Paper acknowledgements will be given to each and every child vaccinated with Measles-Rubella under the campaign. Follow up doses of the vaccines can also be given to children, however, strict restrictions are given to children suffering from cold and fever, who are currently admitted to the hospital due to other diseases and children who have history of severe allergies to the vaccine.