Maharashtra to vaccinate 3.37 crore kids against measles, rubella

The state government's campaign that begins on 27th November, is part of a pledge by India and 10 other South East Asia region-member countries of the World Health Organization, to eliminate measles and control rubella/congenital rubella syndrome by 2020

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New Delhi: Maharashtra will administer the measles-rubella vaccine to as many as 3.37 crore children in the age group of nine months to 15 years over the period of six weeks, as part of an immunization programme by the centre.

Starting 27th November, the campaign is part of a pledge by India and 10 other South East Asia region-member countries of the World Health Organization (WHO), which have resolved to eliminate measles and control rubella/congenital rubella syndrome by 2020. To reach this goal, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has initiated the measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in a phased manner across the country. The campaign aims to cover approximately 41 crore children.

Apart from the departments of health, women and child welfare and education, organisations such as Lions Clubs, the Indian Academy of Paediatrics and the Indian Medical Association are also involved to achieve maximum coverage during the campaign.

Every year in India, nearly 2.7 million children get infected with measles. Those who survive suffer from serious complications including diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition. Rubella transmission is also highly prevalent across India, and it may lead to spontaneous abortion, stillbirth and irreversible birth defects such as life-long disabilities.