Ranchi: Measles Rubella (MR) vaccine will be launched in Jharkhand on 26th July. This was informed through a press meet organised by the department of health & family welfare, Jharkhand government and UNICEF in Suchana Bhawan here today.
UNICEF Child Reporter Surbhi Lohra, 14 years, from Government Middle School in Pirra, Kamke Ranchi. She is one of the school children who have benefited from the MR knowledge sessions being organized across the state in both government and private schools as part of the MR communication plan. She said, “In Jharkhand, the MR vaccine will be launched on 26 July and I urge all children and parents to support this campaign and make it a grand success.”
Nidhi Khare, Principal Secretary, Health department says, “India is committed to eliminating measles and to control rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) by 2020.The Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is one of the biggest campaigns under Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) covering about 41 crore children in the age group of 9 months to less than 15 years across the country. The Measles Rubella vaccine will be administered in government and private schools, health facilities and outreach sitesand will cover over 1.17 crore children in the age group of 9 months to 15 years in Jharkhand. Following the campaign, the combined MR vaccine will be available under routine immunization, replacing the earlier administrated two doses of measles vaccine.”
Dr. Madhulika Jonathan, Chief of UNICEF Jharkhand says, “UNICEF is working with the Government of Jharkhand and other partners to support the Measles Rubella (MR) campaign. UNICEF has supported the communication planning for the MR campaign from the block to the district level. Advocacy with influencers, religious leaders, PRI members, schools both government and private through the parent teacher meetings are an integral part of this campaign. Support of NCC Ranchi and Radio City (Private FM Station) has been taken to increase public awareness about the vaccine.”
Other organizations are also providing their support to the campaign. World Health organization (WHO) is supporting the preparation of micro plans and capacity building of health workers while UNDP is responsible for vaccine logistics and its availability at the cold chain points. Lions Club has organized parent teacher meetings in school, displayed IEC material at strategic places and organized rallies, etc.
The programme was attended by Dr Bina Sinha, Deputy Director, Department of Health & Family Welfare; Dr. Ajit Prasad, Medical officer, Child Health Cell, Department of Health & Family Welfare; Dr K Arun from WHO; Sanjeev Poddar from Lions Club; UNICEF and WHO officials.