The Maharashtra government has kick-started the measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in the state today on November 27, 2018. The six-week long, state-wide vaccination drive has been initiated to protect children between the ages of nine months and 15 years against the deadly diseases. Maharashtra state public health minister Deepak Sawant said that school-going children will be immunised within the first three weeks of the drive and those in anganwadis will be vaccinated in the next phase of three weeks. This is the nation’s biggest vaccination drive, set to vaccinate 15-16 lakh children in the country. ‘MR Vaccines Are Important’ Hema Malini Appeals To The Nation To Get Children Vaccinated Against Measles and Rubella.
To ensure not a single child is left out, mobile vaccination units will travel across the state to ensure even the remote pockets of Maharashtra are covered. Volunteers from women and child development and school education departments will work together with public health departments for the campaign.
Various medical associations have also joined forces to ensure better coverage of the campaign.
What are Measles and Rubella?
Measles and rubella refer to highly-contagious diseases that can cause irreversible developmental defects in children. These are viral diseases that are spread through contact and are commonly transmitted through sneezing and coughing. MR Vaccine: What Are Measles and Rubella? Why Parents Should Vaccinate Children Against These Diseases.
Measles refers to a viral infection that causes high fever, red watery eyes, accompanied by cough, runny nose and rash that spreads across the body. Measles causes complications such as blindness, encephalitis, diarrhoea, lung infections, etc. Often, such complications result in measles-related deaths in children.
Rubella is another such viral infection, which starts as low-grade fever, redness of the eyes, cough and runny nose. Rubella infection in pregnancy can cause Congenital Rubella Syndrome, which can cause multiple birth defects in infants.