Second phase of MR vaccine campaign to target 2.5 M children
KATHMANDU, Aug 2: The Child Health Division (CHD) under Department of Health Services (DoHS) says it has started necessary preparation for second phase Measles-Rubella (MR) Campaign targeting 25 districts of Mid-Western and Western region from September 17.
The CHD said several rounds of training will be imparted to the health workers and mass awareness campaigns will be carried out in those districts before the campaign.
“About 2.5million children between nine months and 15 years will be immunized in the campaign,” said Dr Shyam Raj Upreti, Director of CHD. First phase of the campaign targeted 15 districts (nine of Far-Western region and six of Mid-western region) in February and March this year in which 1.84 million children were immunized.
Rubella is an infection that affects the skin and lymph nodes. Doctors say Rubella in pregnant women can cause congenital rubella syndrome which have potentially devastating consequences in developing babies.
Children who are infected with rubella before birth are at risk of growth and mental retardation, malformations of the heart and eyes, deafness and liver, spleen, and bone marrow problems. Measles is also an infectious virus that spread through body fluids.
“Infection of the disease can be prevented by two doses of vaccine,” Dr Upreti added. The second phase campaign will be conducted in -Humla, Jumla,Mugu, Dolpa, Kalikot, Dailekh, Jajarkot, Rukum and Salyan of Mid Western region and all 16 districts of Western region.
According to Upreti, the campaign is part of National Immunization Program and the government itself has bought all vaccines. The world Health Organization and UNICEF has supported the operational cost to the government.
Rotary Club, Lions Club and Nepal Red Cross Society will assist the division in the campaign. The government has planned to include the vaccine in its regular program from the year 2015\\016. The third round of campaign will be held in 35 districts of Central and Eastern regions from December 10.