A state-wide vaccination drive has been launched by the Maharashtra Government to protect children from measles and rubella. According to the sources, it has plans to vaccinate more than three crore children as part of the drive in the coming six weeks, beginning Tuesday.
According to the State public health minister Deepak Sawant, school-going children would be covered during the first three weeks of the drive. However, those going to Anganwadis would be vaccinated in the next three weeks. In order to ensure that no child remains unvaccinated, Sawant said, “the government has plans to deploy mobile vaccination units across the state after the six weeks. The vaccination drive, which is part of the nation’s biggest injectable vaccination drive, will cover children in the age group of nine months to 15 years.” Also, it will be administered free of cost in public-run hospitals.
Notably, teams from the women and child development and school education departments will will be jointly working with the public health department for the campaign. Moreover, the government has also enrolled various medical associations.
A 2016 report revealed that every year, more than 49,200 children die due to measles infection. Notably, the highly contagious disease is characterised by cough, runny nose, red rash with fever, and red eyes. It is also one of the major causes of disability among children, and it spreads through coughing and sneezing by an infected person.
On the other hand, Rubella exhibits milder symptoms. And, rubella infection among pregnant women can be severe or fatal for the foetus and newborns, in case the infection is during the early months of pregnancy. Doctors have found children born of infected mothers to have a high probability of suffering from congenital anomalies affecting the ears, brain, and the heart.