After success with Polio, the government has renewed its efforts on eradicating Measles. Though program was announced some time ago, for details please read this piece we carried in 2011 but we see a renewed focus on the effort currently. Many schools in Bangalore are running a school inoculation program against Measles. Recently my daughter came home with a form for consent to get inoculated at the school for the same.
The main difference between the Measles program and the one we ran for Polio was that, unlike Polio which had celebrities endorsing the program, the Measles campaign has no star campaigners. The first phase was launched on the 7th of Feb and would cover 35 million school children. The goal is to cover more than 250 million children over 2 years. India has been relatively successful in management of Measles by reducing the number of deaths by half over the last decade. But still much more needs to be done.
Measles is a highly infectious disease caused by virus. It is estimated that nearly 49,000 children die from post-measles complications annually, making it one of the leading causes of child deaths in the country. The disease can be prevented by immunizing children with measles vaccine, which is safe and effective.
Rubella is an equally infectious yet mild viral illness affecting both children and adults. Rubella infection when acquired in the first trimester of pregnancy can cause congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) leading to spontaneous abortions, stillbirths and babies born with serious multi-organ congenital anomalies, including blindness and deafness, etc. causing a life full of disabilities.
Nearly 30,000 annual incidences of congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) are reported across the country. This can be completely preventable with rubella vaccine (as MR vaccine) having > 95% efficacy.
Many hospitals are participating in the campaign as well. Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur in association with ‘’Government of Karnataka, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) & Bangalore Medical College (BMC)” conducted the ‘’Measles & Rubella Campaign’’ on 9th February 2017, Thursday at the hospital to create awareness among external referring paediatricians and general physicians.
“There has been a rise in the number of cases reported on Measles and Rubella. Thus, creating an awareness about the topic is the need of the hour. Getting children and adults vaccinated early can play a major role in preventing the disease. We as a healthcare service provider take pride in supporting this great cause and endorse Government’s vision of eradicating Measles and Rubella by 2020,” said Dr. Kanchan Sanyal, CMS, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur.
Hopefully the collaboration between Government, Private Hospitals, Physicians, Pediatricians and UNICEF would be able to repeat the success they had with the Polio campaign. We will continue to track this development and come back with updates on the progress of the campaign.