The India Expert Advisory Group on Measles & Rubella (IEAG-MR) has commended India on the progress of the measles and rubella vaccination campaign.
Facts & Figures:
- Measles kills an estimated 49,000 children in India each year, which is about 37% of the global deaths due to this disease.
- India has set an ambitious goal to eliminate measles from the country. Measles Rubella vaccine has been introduced in 13 states.
- It is planned to expand across the country, covering 41 crore children by the end of 2018.
Measles Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign:
The Health Ministry has initiated MR vaccination campaign in the age group of 9 months to less than 15 years in a phased manner in the country.
- It was started across the country under the universal immunisation programme (UIP).
- The campaign aims to rapidly build up immunity for both measles and rubella diseases in the community to knock out the disease.
- The MR campaign targets around 41 crore children across the country, the largest ever in any campaign.
- Under the campaign, children will be given a single shot of Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination irrespective of their previous measles/rubella vaccination status or measles/rubella disease status.
- MR vaccine will be provided free- of- cost across the states from session sites at schools as well as health facilities and outreach session sites.
- Presently, 13 states have been covered by the vaccination campaign.
About Measles Rubella
- Measles is one of the important causes of death in children. It is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing of an infected person.
- It can also make a child vulnerable to life threatening complications such as diarrhoea, pneumonia and brain infection.
- Symptoms of the infection can include cataracts and deafness. It can also affect the heart and the brain.
- The disease commonly known as German Measles (or three-day measles) and is symptomatically similar to measles.
- It can have devastating consequences if a pregnant mother is infected with it and the foetus may be born with incurable congenital anomalies.
- Symptoms of the infection can include cataracts and deafness.
- It can also affect the heart and the brain.
- The congenital rubella infection is believed to affect approximately 25,000 children born in India every year.